Monday, February 20, 2023 – 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 Highbury Magistrates’ Court, where he pleaded guilty to assault by beating.
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.’