Kingsmeadow stadium
Kingsmeadow stadium

A pensioner was arrested after a banana was hurled on to a football pitch during a lower league match.

The incident summoned up uncomfortable memories of abuse of black players such as John Barnes and Laurie Cummingham at football matches during the 1970s and 80s.

But police said that Thursday's incident at the League Two clash between AFC Wimbledon and Port Vale was not racially motivated.

Hosts AFC Wimbledon surrendered a two-goal lead in the match after Jack Midson had put them in a strong position with his first-half brace. But promotion-chasing Valiants underlined their credentials by scoring twice to secure a point.

A 74-year-old was arrested and questioned before being released on bail. It is understood he was an AFC Wimbledon fan unhappy at what he was seeing at Kingsmeadow Stadium.

Football intelligence officer Sam Cunningham told This is Staffordshire: "We saw the banana thrown on to the pitch and then reviewed television coverage.

"It appears a supporter was angered by a decision by the referee and aimed a banana at him. It was not aimed anywhere near any player."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "A 74-year-old home supporter was subsequently arrested on suspicion of throwing an object on to the pitch before being bailed to return to a police station at a later date pending further inquiries.

"The incident is not believed to be racially motivated."

AFC Wimbledon was founded by fans of Wimbledon FC after the club was bought by Peter Winkelman and relocated to Milton Keynes, more than 50 miles away from south London.

The phoenix-like club enjoyed a swift rise up the non-league football pyramid and won promotion to League Two in 2011, only nine years after it was formed.