A FOOTBALL fan from Basingstoke who hurled racist abuse at one of an England stars has been banned from matches for three years.

Adam Gough directed his foul-mouthed attack at Southampton Football Club vice-captain Ryan Bertrand as they played Arsenal last season.

Disgusted by his language, other members of the crowd contacted the club, which in turn called in Hampshire police to deal with the incident.

At a hearing in Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Thursday), Gough, from Basingstoke, was fined more than £300 and also told he could not attend any football games for three years.

Andy Darbyshire, from Hampshire Police’s football unit, told the Gazette’s sister paper the Southern Daily Echo numerous fans at the game came forward to help the investigation, describing Gough’s language as “appalling.”

He added: “We are really thankful for the Saints fans that made statements in relation to this incident.

“We were happy to take the prosecution of this case forward and for this individual to be banned for his action. We take a zero tolerance on this type of behaviour and welcome any reports to us if anyone hears this type of inappropriate behaviour.”

Gough, 25, admitted causing racially aggravated alarm or distress when he appeared in court.

Bertrand, who has made more than 150 appearance for Saints, was captain for the game at the Emirates. Saints lost the encounter 3-2, after Danny Welbeck scored a late winner in one of Arsene Wenger’s final matches in charge of Arsenal.

It comes days after another Southampton fan was arrested at the club’s home ground after an alleged incident of “homophobic abuse”.

A spokesperson for the club said: “Southampton Football Club does not tolerate any form of discrimination and works tirelessly to ensure all fans are able to watch the team in a safe and welcoming environment.

"The club was made aware of the matter and has worked closely with Hampshire Constabulary throughout their investigation.”