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4 August 2015, 06:21
A man dubbed the ‘Godfather’ of football hooliganism in Wolverhampton has been banned from all professional football grounds in the country after West Midlands Police secured a court injunction against him.
Gildroy Shaw, a prominent figure in hooligan circles for almost 30 years, was handed a Football Banning Order at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Monday 3 August stopping him from attending matches for the next five years.
Wolves follower Shaw, who has been banned from Molineux since 2010, must also stay outside a five-mile exclusion zone at stadiums involving his hometown club for three hours before and after kick-off.
West Midlands Police’s Football Unit applied for the civil injunction against the 47-year-old after amassing a huge back catalogue of evidence detailing his involvement in football violence and association with ‘risk’ supporters.
Chief Inspector Nick Rowe, said: “Shaw is a familiar face at fixtures at home and abroad and tends to be at the centre of disorder, inciting rival fans, threatening violence, and getting involved in mass brawls.
“He has been the number one target for us for some time but in recent years has become almost a Godfather figure, organising and instigating violence and then slipping away while his minions throw the punches, hurl the missiles or damage property.
“However, we were able to show to the court that he’s been in and around match-day trouble for many years and is a catalyst for trouble whenever he attends matches.
“We’re pleased he’s been handed this Banning Order, it sends out a strong message that we won’t tolerate hooliganism in any form and that we’re coming for ringleaders.”
Shaw, from Selwyn Road in Bilston, has a hooliganism track record stretching back to 1988 when he was handed a five-year Sports Exclusion Order (which pre-date Football Banning Orders) for football violence.
In 1995 he was jailed for nine months for affray and assaulting police officers at a game in Stoke, was in court again in 2001 for his part in running battles with Portsmouth fans, and in 2007 was given a three-year Football Banning Order for clashes with West Brom supporters.
He was last arrested in May 2013 following ugly clashes with Brighton fans outside a south coast pub; his violent disorder case was discontinued but several others were convicted for their part in the violence.
A total of 166 people are currently subject of Football Banning Orders (FBOs) in the West Midlands.
Chief Insp Rowe, added: “Most orders are tagged on to criminal court convictions – but this case shows we can go down the civil route to go after people we can show play a role in football-related violence but can’t prove they’re directly involved.
“We have ‘spotters’ at all the matches involving our six league sides and anyone we find breaching their FBO will be taken to court and faces the prospect of being jailed.”