Tottenham fan, 35, pleads guilty to assaulting Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale after police charged supporter for kicking goalkeeper following north London derby against Tottenham
- Joseph Watts of Hackney was charged by police after the incident last month
- After Arsenal’s win over their bitter rivals, Ramsdale was kicked by a supporter
- Watts pled guilty to assault by beating at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on Friday
A 35-year-old man has pleaded guilty to assaulting Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale after their north London derby against Tottenham last month.
Joseph Watts of Hackney was charged by police after Ramsdale was kicked by a supporter following Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Tottenham on January 15.
On Friday Watts appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, where he pleaded guilty to assault by beating.
After last month’s game, Tottenham said they were appalled by the attack and would work ‘to take the strongest possible action, including an immediate ban from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium’.
The Premier League club then worked with Metropolitan Police’s football investigations team to help identify Watts, who clambered towards the pitch to kick Ramsdale at full-time.
A 35-year-old man has pleaded guilty to assaulting Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale
Joseph Watts of Hackney admitted to attacking Ramsdale after Tottenham’s defeat to Arsenal
He was charged by police and pleaded guilty at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on Friday
After helping his team earn a crucial victory, the Arsenal player was met by the fan as he went to retrieve his bottle from behind the goal.
Watts, who wore a scarf over his mouth in an attempt to conceal his identity, then lashed out and appeared to make contact with Ramsdale, who admitted that the incident left a ‘sour taste’ following his Man of the Match display.
‘The Spurs fans gave me some throughout the game,’ he said. ‘I was giving some back. The people I did give it to greeted it sportsmanlike but one fan tried to give me a little punch on the back.
‘It is a shame as it is just a game of football at the end of the day. Both sets of players tried to bring me away but thankfully nothing too drastic happened.
‘It is a sour taste but I’m sure we will enjoy it when we go back into the dressing room.’
The FA strongly condemned the incident and stressed that such behaviour is ‘wholly unacceptable’.
The governing body said: ‘We strongly condemn the incident involving a spectator that followed today’s Premier League fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
‘This is wholly unacceptable behaviour and we will work together with the police, the relevant authorities and the clubs to ensure the appropriate action is taken.’
Ramsdale, who was left visibly shaken, admitted it was a ‘sour end’ to a superb Arsenal win
Temperatures rose inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Arsenal cruised to a two-goal lead by the half-time break.
Ramsdale denied Tottenham striker Harry Kane towards the end of the first half and also made a series of vital saves to help Arsenal maintain their Premier League title bid.
The feisty derby was largely kept in check by referee Craig Pawson, but tensions then reached boiling at the end of the match.
As Ramsdale gestured towards the home fans, Watts lunged down several rows of seats and appeared to kick him whilst balancing on top of the barriers, before running back into a sea of Tottenham supporters.