Wed, May 11, 2011
Matthew Simmons, the infamous Crystal Palace fan who was kung-fu kicked by Eric Cantona in 1995 and still hated by his fans, has avoided jail time for assault on a manager of his son’s football team.
He was handed a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, plus ordered to undertake 150 hours of community service for attacking Stuart Cooper. Last month, a jury found Simmons guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm after hearing the 36-year-old clashed with Mr Cooper at a pre-season match following his the latter’s decision to drop his son from his under-8s side, allegedly after learning of the Cantona incident.
On sentencing Simmons at Kingston crown court, Judge Michael Hopmeier said: “On August 7 2010, families came to watch a football match. Your own son was playing as well as the son of your victim.”
“For reasons that remain unclear, you decided to assault your victim by punching him repeatedly in the face, arms and body. It seems there been some antagonism between you and him as a result of events that had taken place some years previously.”
On top of the suspended sentence and community service, Simmons was also ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation to his victim and £2,000 in prosecution costs.