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'Godfather' of football hooliganism gets five-year ban from stadiums

Published 04/08/2015

Gilroy Shaw let his
Gilroy Shaw let his "minions" do the fighting

A man dubbed a Godfather of football hooliganism by police has been banned from every ground in the country for five years.

Gilroy Shaw, who police said had a history of starting violence before "slipping away while his minions throw the punches", has now been handed a football banning order barring him from all professional matches.

Shaw has been banned from his home-side Wolverhampton Wanderers' ground since 2010 and is barred from setting foot within five miles of the Molineux stadium on match days.

He was made subject to the national ban after West Midlands Police brought a civil action against him at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Senior police officers described Shaw as their "number one target" who had "become almost a Godfather figure" in football hooligan circles in recent years.

The 47-year-old has a history of involvement in football-related violence going back 30 years and in 1988 was handed a five-year football ground ban.

Shaw of Selwyn Road in Bilston, West Midlands, is among 166 people in the region now subject to the football banning orders.

Chief Inspector Nick Rowe, of West Midlands Police, 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."

Banning orders are usually attached to criminal court convictions but the police decided to pursue a civil injunction alone through the courts in Shaw's case.

Anyone who breaches an order can be fined or jailed.

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