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Man charged after handcuffing himself to goalpost at Goodison Park


A man has been charged by police after last night's Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City was brought to a standstill when a supporter handcuffed himself to a goalpost.

The pitch invasion forced the referee to halt play at Goodison Park for around five minutes.

The incident occurred shortly before 8.40pm, five minutes before the end of the first half, with the match goalless.

Today, Merseyside Police said 46-year-old John Joseph Foley, of Lord Street, Southport, has been charged with going on to the playing area during a football match - an offence under the Football Offences Act 1991.

He has been bailed to appear at Liverpool City Magistrates Court on February 17.

Last night, both teams' managers used the pause to speak to their players as several police officers worked to remove the man from visiting goalkeeper Joe Hart's left-hand post.

The man, who wore a T-shirt, jeans and baseball cap, was eventually led away, and Everton went on to win the game 1-0.

In a statement, Everton said: "Bolt-cutters were used to remove the offender, who was roundly booed as he was escorted from the ground.

"It transpired that the supporter is a known professional protester, allegedly protesting about an airline's recruitment policy. He was arrested by Merseyside Police, who are now dealing with the matter."