Leeds Fan Banned Over Michail Antonio Racial Abuse

A Leeds man who hurled racist abuse at West Ham United striker Michail Antonio has been banned from attending any football match for four years.

Gary Hawkins, 52, abused Antonio during Leeds United’s 2-1 defeat to the Hammers at Elland Road in 2021.

He then went on to threaten a Leeds fan who challenged him over his outburst.

Hawkins, from Armley, was convicted of two offences after a trial at Leeds Magistrates’ Court and given an eight-week sentence, suspended for 12 months.

West Yorkshire Police said Hawkins targeted Antonio – who scored a 90th-minute winner in the match – from his seat in the East Stand.

Supt Russ Hughes said: “Race hate crime such as this is truly abhorrent and can never be tolerated”

“As we have seen with this incident, other fans will rightly take exception to this type of behaviour and are prepared to challenge it as it is completely unacceptable.”

Hawkins, of St James Mews, was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £775 in costs.