A SOUTH Cheshire man has been jailed for 10 months for his part in a violent football riot.
John Christopher Finney, 34, of Linley Grove, Alsager, was also banned from football grounds for 10 years by a judge at Manchester Crown Court last week.
Finney was one of 41 men convicted for brawling in Manchester city centre when England played Wales in a World Cup qualifier at Old Traf-ford in October 2004. He admitted affray.
Detectives spent six months hunting thugs who were caught on CCTV cameras. All the men convicted have been subject to football banning orders for up to 10 years.
Finney was one of 19 men fighting in Market Street and was given the stiffest sentence of all of them.
The court heard that from 2pm on October 9 there was escalating violence across the city between fans who had not got tickets for the match and were watching it in pubs. After police dispersed crowds they fled to Market Street where a fight broke out outside Debenhams.
The group charged down the street, attacking men indiscriminately and causing shoppers to flee for their safety.
Greater Manchester Police's assistant chief constable Stephen Thomas said: 'These sentences should send a stark warning to anyone who may have any intention of becoming involved in football-related violence.
'There are only a small number of individuals who are responsible for spoiling the reputation of our English football fans and by taking action against them we hope to re-assure the vast majority of real football supporters that it is safe to attend matches.
'The majority of these individuals have been issued with football banning orders, preventing them from attending football matches for several years. Banning orders can have a huge impact on these individuals, making sure they are closely monitored by police, which can have a knock on effect on their friends and those in their social circle.
'None of these individuals will be allowed to travel to Germany for the World Cup and all will have to surrender their passports to police before the tournament starts.
'We now have technology that allows us to review CCTV after the event and use our own intelligence officers, as well as those from other forces to identify further offenders.'
Kevin Rogers, divisional crown prosecutor for Manchester said: 'Football is a family game and there is no place for violence either in the football stadium or outside.
'Groups who are dedicated to causing violent disorder in the name of football need to think twice. Being part of a group will not make them anonymous.'