‘Arsenal fans threw a £1 coin at me – I launched it back and was fined £40,000’

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    Jamie Carragher was once fined for hurling a £1 coin back at Arsenal fans during one of the most ill-tempered FA Cup ties in history.

    As they are now, the Gunners and Liverpool are big rivals for honours in English football. Back in 2001, a Michael Owen-inspired Liverpool defeated Arsenal in the FA Cup final in Cardiff.

    The following season, the clubs met in the fourth round at the Gunners’ former home, Highbury, and sparks flew on and off the pitch. The match ended 1-0 in the home side’s favour and 9-10 in terms of players on the pitch.

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    Dennis Bergkamp, the scorer of the tie’s only goal, was sent off for a nasty-looking stamp on Carragher, shortly after Martin Keown had also seen red. Crucially, as the game went to restart after Bergkamp’s dismissal, a coin was aimed at Carragher from the home section.

    The defender, then 24, inadvisably turned round and hurled it back into the packed stand. Bizarrely, three fans claimed to have been struck by the returning projectile, although they declined to make their allegations formal.

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    Carragher escaped a police charge but was hit in the pocket to the tune of £40,000 after being fined by the Reds, then managed by Phil Thompson, filling in for Gerard Houlier, who was recuperating from heart surgery.

    Carragher also issued an apology. He said: “I regret what happened at Highbury because I let the club, the fans, my team-mates and myself down. No matter what the physical or verbal provocation, I shouldn’t have reacted like that I would like to apologise for any offence caused.

    “I was frustrated and did it without thinking in the heat of the moment. Anyone who has seen me play regularly will realise it was completely out of character but I’m not going to make excuses.

    “I was wrong and as a professional football player I should have known better. It’s a mistake I won’t make again.”

    • FA Cup
    • Jamie Carragher
    • Liverpool FC
    • Manchester United FC
    • Footballblog

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