A FOOTBALL fan returned to the Premier League football ground where security guards had previously confiscated his Worcester News branding it an "offensive weapon".

Fortunately, West Ham fan Chris Barmby managed to make it into Stoke City Football Club's Britannia Stadium without having his copy of the newspaper taken off him.

Guards at Stoke City Football Club confiscated Chris Barmby's paper last March after telling him that he could set fire to it and use it as a torch.

Mr Barmby, from Claines, Worcester, pointed out to the staff members who stopped him that people could also set fire to programmes that were on sale in the grounds but was told it was the club's rules.

Previously, Stoke City Football Club did not respond to numerous requests for a comment about the incident.

Although newspapers are not on the club's list of banned items, a statement on the Stoke City's website did say anything that could be used as a weapon would not be allowed into the grounds.

Mr Barmby, aged 58, travels on the train to away matches with a group of West Ham fans from Worcester and is well known for carrying a copy of the Worcester News with him.

The retired firefighter said: "Last year I wasn't allowed to being it in because they said I could use it as an offensive weapon.

"They told me I could roll it up and set fire to it and use it as a torch and even when I said anyone could do that with a programme they said they were the club's rules.

"I was a bit wary and preparing to be stopped this time.

"I wasn't taking it deliberately, I hadn't had a chance to read it on the way to the match so I'd put it in my back pocket.

"They didn't blink an eyelid this time and I glided straight through."

Mr Barmby's joy at being allowed to keep his newspaper did not last too long though as his team were beaten 3-1.

"I always get on the train with my paper and I am well known for carrying it all over London but because we are all having a bit of banter I never get chance to read it until I get home.

"It was a good day out and I was glad to keep hold of my copy - I can do without my national papers but I can't do without my Worcester News."