Serial prankster Karl Power has been banned from Old Trafford for life by furious Manchester United officials. Power, whose previous scams included lining-up alongside the United team ahead of a Champions League tie with Bayern Munich, walking out to bat during an England Test match, and knocking-up at Wimbledon during last year's tennis championship, pulled his most elaborate stunt to date ahead of Saturday's 4-0 Premiership win over Liverpool.
With nine pals, Power fooled United security staff into thinking they were part of an official pre-match sponsorship group and eventually forced their way onto the pitch. All wearing official Manchester United tops, the group lined up for a photograph before making their way to the Scoreboard End of the ground where the proceeded to re-enact Diego Forlan's opening goal in the previous league game with Liverpool at Anfield.
The scorer was wearing a blond-wig, with the goalkeeper taking off his United shirt to reveal a Liverpool one, with `Dudek' on the back, a reference to the Pole's blunder which gave the Uruguayan his tap-in. Once they had completed their act, the group ran to the Liverpool fans, incensing them with their celebrations.
Greater Manchester Police detained all 10 members of the group, who were arrested for 'encroachment' although it is believed they could also face more serious offences. They have now been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Their actions have been greeted with disdain at Old Trafford, with serious concerns being raised over security arrangements at the ground, which will stage this season's Champions League final at the end of next month. A club spokesman said: "Obviously this is a police matter now, so we cannot say too much. However, we are treating the incident very seriously and all 10 people involved will be banned from Old Trafford for life."
Filed by Shane Murray