Tottenham fan, 35, admits kicking Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale in the back after North London derby

17 February 2023, 10:23 | Updated: 17 February 2023, 11:32

Aaron Ramsdale was kicked in the back by a Spurs fan
Aaron Ramsdale was kicked in the back by a Spurs fan. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

A football fan who attacked Arsenal's goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has admitted assault by beating.

Joseph Watts, 35, admitted the assault at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court to assault at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 15 after the North London derby, which the Gunners won 2-0.

The Tottenham fan climbed over the advertising hoardings behind the end that Arsenal were defending and kicked the goalkeeper in the back as he stooped to pick up a water bottle from the turf at the final whistle. Stewards then pushed him away.

Watts, who had had six pints and was drunk, tried to hide his face as he hurried from the stands, and later removed his jacket in a bid to avoid being identified.

Ramsdale celebrating
Ramsdale celebrating. Picture: Getty

Read more: Football fan, 35, charged with attacking Arsenal's Aaron Ramsdale during North London derby

Read more: Aaron Ramsdale kicked by Spurs fan as tempers flare after Gunners win in North London derby

But he was caught on CCTV, arrested and charged. He pleaded guilty to assault by beating, going on to an area adjacent to the playing area and throwing a missile on to a football playing area. He also threw four coins towards the pitch.

Watts, of Dalston in Hackney, east London, appeared in person to confirm his name, age and address before entering the pleas.

Ramsdale, in a victim statement read to the court, said he saw a masseuse afterwards because his back felt "heavy", but there were no marks.

"I've never had someone enter the pitch and kick me, I don't think it's acceptable that I should be assaulted at work," he added.

The England international, 24, also said he was worried about similar attacks happening in the future.

Watts is said to be of good previous character. The hearing has been adjourned until later this morning.

Tottenham released a statement after the game, saying: "We are appalled by the behaviour of a supporter that attempted to attack Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at the end of today’s match. Violence in any form has no place in football.

"The Club has reviewed its CCTV footage to identify the supporter and will be working with the Met Police, Arsenal and Aaron Ramsdale to take the strongest possible action, including an immediate ban from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium."

Ramsdale with manager Mikel Arteta after the game
Ramsdale with manager Mikel Arteta after the game. Picture: Getty

Arsenal had just won the game 2-0 to solidify their grip on first place in the Premier League at the time, although they have since slipped to second after a defeat by Manchester City on Wednesday.

Spurs continue to struggle to get back into the top four, which would give them Champions League football next season.

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