A CONVICTED football lout is facing jail after admitting racially abusing a Forest Green player, a court heard. 

Ryan Ferguson, 23, previously pleaded guilty to racially abusing Jordan Garrick during a match at the end of last season in April.

Ferguson shouted at Mr Garrick “fill that f****** c**n in” as the Rovers winger tussled with a Fleetwood opponent during their League One match on April 18.

The racially abusive language was heard by other Forest Green players and stewards at the New Lawn.

Ferguson, a Tranmere supporter, was apprehended by security and, when arrested by police, gave officers false details.

He later revealed his real identity after he was arrested.

A check of the police national computer revealed he was subject of a five-year football banning order imposed in 2019 for pitch invasion and was prohibited from attending any matches.

Stroud News and Journal: Ryan Ferguson, of Barberry Crescent in Liverpool, could face jail - picture from Merseyside PoliceRyan Ferguson, of Barberry Crescent in Liverpool, could face jail - picture from Merseyside Police (Image: Merseyside Police)

He is currently banned from coming within 500 metres of any designated football stadium in a period of up to four hours before kick-off, during the match and up to four hours afterwards.

Kirsty Drew, prosecuting, told the court Mr Garrick was left shaken at being on the receiving end of the abuse.

“At the time I thought his behaviour was really stupid and embarrassing that he would say something so stupid,” he told police.

“I was shocked and disgusted to hear something so racist being shouted at me.”

Ms Drew said Ferguson had now breached his football banning order eight times and the Crown would be applying for a new one.

At a previous hearing Ferguson admitted charges of racially aggravated public order, failing to comply with a football banning order under the Football Spectators Act 1989 and obstructing a constable in the execution of their duty.

Stroud News and Journal: Jordan Garrick has played for Forest Green since January this yearJordan Garrick has played for Forest Green since January this year (Image: UGC)

Samir Tahir, defending, said he had advised his client a custodial sentence was the likely outcome.

“I have been abundantly straight forward with Mr Ferguson and in my view of these offences and where the court is likely to place them,” he said.

“This would be the eighth breach of a football banning order.

“Clearly, he has not taken that order seriously at all.”

Mr Tahir said Ferguson was “quite immature” and held “outdated” views.

“He has grown up in an environment where he got into football at a very young age,” he said.

“He has been involved with this particular group of Tranmere Rovers fans who hold some quite anti-social views.

“People just don’t become racist, and it seems he has learnt over time while growing up.

“For some reason he thinks this is normal and acceptable behaviour.

“It’s not.”

He added: “Ferguson recognises that anything he does with football gets him into trouble.”

Presiding Justice Clive Powell said the offending was so serious the court’s powers of sentence were insufficient and believed he should be jailed for more than six months.

Ferguson was released on conditional bail and told to appear at Gloucester Crown Court for sentencing on December 12.