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Teacher set up football fights

Ban for head of year who used internet to organise brawls between rival fans

A teacher, described as a "bedroom general", who organised football violence via the internet has been banned from the classroom for at least five years.

David Walker, who was head of Year 11 at Turves Green technology college, in Northfield, Birmingham, was banned from teaching by England's General Teaching Council this week after serving a two-year sentence for conspiracy to cause violent disorder. He was not present at the hearing.

Under the alias "Three Lions", Mr Walker, 40, a Southampton fan, used internet forums to matchmake rival fans who wanted a fight. The committee heard that he was at the "top of his profession", but he was also the architect of a violent brawl at a railway station. He had incited Charlton Athletic and Southampton fans using a website, where he gave out phone numbers that hooligans could call to arrange a fight when the teams met in April 2000.

"We have lads who are ready to stand and fight," he wrote on the website.

"There will be quite a few travelling up and they are up for it, no surrender!" On the day of the match the hooligans clashed, wielding broken beer bottles at Maze Hill station, south-east London, leading to three men needing hospital treatment.

Ken Nimmo, his former headteacher, who is now head of John Wilmot school, said: "He came with good references and he was a very effective teacher. I was shocked to find out he had engaged in activities like these."

Anne Madden, chair of the committee, said: "It is not appropriate for someone engaged in organising such violence to be involved in teaching children."

The history teacher and careers adviser, who organised football competitions at his school, was suspended from Turves Green in February 2004 and he resigned three months later following his conviction at Kingston crown court, Surrey.

Mr Walker, who started at Turves Green school in 1999 after moving from King's Norton high, in Birmingham, was removed from the teaching register following the order, but he can apply to be reinstated after five years.

At the time of his criminal conviction, Judge Fergus Mitchell said: "One cannot help but feel revulsion for your part in this conspiracy. There you were talking about the way you would fight and incite others to do the same when it is clear that you would not move from your computer."

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