A football fan had his newspaper confiscated as he tried to enter a ground because security staff considered it an offensive weapon.

West Ham United fan Chris Barmby was carrying a copy of the Worcester News when he was stopped by guards at Stoke City's Britannia stadium on 2 March.

He was told that it was "new policy" to ban newspapers in case people set them on fire to use as a torch. As a retired firefighter, Barmby was not amused.

As he told the News, which splashed the story and ran an editorial calling the ban absurd, what's to stop someone setting light to a club programme?

The paper's deputy editor, John Wilson, said: "The Worcester News has always packed a punch, but we have never been called an offensive weapon."

Happily for Barmby, a Worcester man who has been a lifelong West Ham supporter, his side won 1-0.

Sources: HoldTheFrontPage/Worcester News Declaration of interest: I am a West Ham fan