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"No regrets": Topless FA Cup pitch invader facing banning order

'No regrets': Sumner staged a one-man pitch invasion at Reading's Madejski Stadium during their quarter final replay with Bradford City
'No regrets': Sumner staged a one-man pitch invasion at Reading's Madejski Stadium during their quarter final replay with Bradford City

A football fan who ran on to a pitch topless and performed somersaults during an FA Cup match said he has no regrets about the incident despite facing a potential banning order.

Charlie Sumner, 20, staged a one-man pitch invasion at Reading's Madejski Stadium during their quarter final replay with Bradford City last month.

The Reading supporter, whose team were 3-0 up at the time, did four front flips on the pitch, landing on his back each time, before he was tackled by stewards.

The match on March 16 was being broadcast live to millions of viewers on BBC One, while footage of Sumner's antics went viral on the internet.

At Reading Magistrates' Court today, Sumner's solicitor entered a guilty plea on his behalf to one count of going on to a playing area at a football match under the Football Offences Act 1991.

He now faces a potential three year ban from attending Reading's home and away games.

Sumner, who was at court but missed his hearing after leaving the building briefly, said he carried out the stunt at his first game at the Madejski Stadium and his family had seen "the funny side."

Speaking outside court, he said: "After doing it and seeing good comments and messages, even from the away fans, I don't look back and regret it.

"Obviously I wouldn't inform other people to do it. It was just spur of the moment. It's good to see good feedback and not negative feedback.

"I'd had a few drinks, I was happy and Reading were winning and I just went for it and had a laugh. It was brilliant."

Sumner, whose nickname is "Pudding", said he talked with his friends in a taxi on the way to the match about running on to the pitch.

"I did say no at first then Reading were winning and got a bit excited," he said.

"I went to rave on Friday and there's another video on Facebook and I'm doing flips there. I've had a few selfies, a few drinks bought for me."

Sumner, who works as a dry liner fixing ceilings, said he thought a potential football banning order "seemed a bit much."

"I don't want a three year ban because obviously it's quite a bit," he said.

"I'm not encouraging people do it and if I go to another game, I'm not going to do it again."

Sumner, from Wokingham, in Berkshire, was released on bail with conditions that he does not attend Reading's home or away matches.

He will appear at Reading Magistrates' Court on April 30 when a decision will be made on whether he receives a football banning order.