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The top 10 longest bans in English football history including Man Utd player suspended for 30 YEARS

The top 10 longest bans in English football history including Man Utd player suspended for 30 YEARS

A look at the top 10 longest bans in English football history.

Fulham star Aleksandar Mitrovic has been handed an eight-match ban by the FA for pushing a referee during a match against Manchester United - but it is far from the longest ban received in English football history.

The incident involving Mitrovic took place during Fulham's 3-1 defeat to United in the FA Cup quarter-final last month.

The referee, Chris Kavanagh, awarded Erik ten Hag's side a penalty for an adjudged handball by Willian.

Shortly afterwards, an irate Mitrovic pushed Kavanagh, and was instantly shown a straight red card.

On top of his original ban for the red card, the FA have punished the Serbian with a further three-game ban for violent conduct, and two games for 'improper, abusive, insulting and threatening' language towards the official.

But his eventual eight-game suspension pales into insignificance when compared to other punishments dished out in English football history. Let's take a look at some of them, in reverse order.

Paolo Di Canio - 11 games, 1998

Italy legend Paolo Di Canio once received an 11-game ban in 1998, as a result of a similar incident to Mitrovic.

During a match between his Sheffield Wednesday side and Arsenal, the forward pushed referee Paul Alcock to the ground. In a subsequent hearing, Di Canio apologised to the referee, with an eight-game ban awarded on top of his original red card punishment.

Luis Suarez - 4 months, 2014

During a World Cup group stage match between Uruguay and Italy in 2014, Luis Suarez bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

The authorities banned the Liverpool star from 'all football-related activities' for four months - and he missed the first part of the new La Liga season after signing for Barcelona that summer.

Vinnie Jones - 6 months, 1992

Vinnie Jones remains known as one of English football's toughest players - but a ban received in 1992 had nothing to do with an on-field incident.

Instead, Jones presented a video titled 'Soccer's Hardest Men' - a video which the FA deemed had 'glorified violence in football'. The midfielder was handed a six-month suspension as a result.

Kolo Toure - 6 months, 2011

In 2011, Kolo Toure tested positive for a banned substance, and later admitted taking 'an unspecified substance contained in some water tablets he obtained through his wife'.

A six-month ban was handed out to the Manchester City defender, although the chairman of the commission that ruled on the case was satisfied that Toure "did not intend to enhance sporting performance or to mask the use of a performance enhancing substance".

Adrian Mutu - 7 months, 2004

Adrian Mutu was given a seven-month ban in 2004 after testing positive for cocaine - an offence he had publicly admitted to.

The Chelsea striker did not play another game for the club after the ban, and signed for Juventus while still suspended in January 2005.

Rio Ferdinand - 8 months, 2003

Rio Ferdinand was handed an eight-month ban in 2003 after the Manchester United star missed a drugs test. He was found guilty of misconduct by the FA, and missed England's Euro 2004 campaign as a result.

Eric Cantona - 9 months, 1995

In one of the most infamous incidents in football history, United star Eric Cantona was handed a nine-month ban after kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan during a game between the two sides in 1995.

The Frenchman's ban was such that he could only play friendly matches in the context of training, and there were even reports that Cantona could leave Old Trafford. But manager Sir Alex Ferguson convinced him to stay, and he ended his career in Manchester before retiring in 1997.

Mark Bosnich - 9 months, 2002

Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Bosnich was banned for nine months after testing positive for cocaine in 2002.

The FA ruled that he was guilty of charges of improper conduct and breaching their doping control regulations, and his Chelsea contract was terminated.

The Australian maintained in an interview with The Guardian in 2004: "I got talking to a girl who later admitted that she had slipped the drug into her drink. I must have had a sip of her glass."

Joey Barton - 13 months, 2016

Joey Barton received the second-longest recorded ban in English football history in 2017 over breaches of betting rules, having previously admitted a misconduct charge brought by the FA.

Although the initial 18-month ban was reduced by almost five months on appeal, the punishment brought an end to his playing career.

Enoch West - 30 years, 1915

The longest ban ever in English football history was awarded to Manchester United star Enoch West in 1915.

Then 29 years of age, West had spent five seasons in Manchester, scoring 21 goals in the First Division in the 1912/13 season.

But he was banned for life by the FA for match fixing, along with four United players and three Liverpool players.

The other players were able to return to playing after accepting a condition of the ban, which was that they would fight in the First World War and then have their bans uplifted.

West didn't accept the FA's offer, and despite eventually having his ban lifted in 1945, had spent an incredible 30 years out of the game by that point.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: England, Fulham, Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand, Joey Barton