A football supporter has pleaded guilty to assaulting a linesman who was struck on the head by a coin during a Premiership match at Villa Park.
Aston Villa fan John Billington, the managing director of an engineering firm, will be sentenced next month after admitting a single count of battery at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.
Magistrates were told the 43-year-old, of Beechey Close, Great Barr, threw a 50p piece which hit referee's assistant Phil Sharp during Villa's 0-0 draw with Portsmouth on October 18.
Prosecutor Nasreen Ashraf told the court that Billington, a married father-of-two, handed himself into police investigating the incident.
A season ticket holder at Villa Park since 1977, he had drunk six pints of beer before hurling the coin from the ground's Trinity Road Stand.
Miss Ashraf told the court: "Approximately three minutes before the end of the match, Mr Sharp felt a blow to the right-hand side of his forehead. At the same time he saw something shiny lying on the floor and he realised he had been hit on the head by some type of missile."
Mr Sharp then contacted the referee via his radio headset and play was halted to allow him to receive treatment for a 1.5cm-long cut. A lengthy police inquiry established which seat the coin had been thrown from and Billington eventually surrendered himself at Birmingham's Queen's Road Police Station.
Defence solicitor Harman Bal said Billington had not targeted the linesman and had thrown the coin in a "moment of madness".
Acknowledging that his client would face a football banning order, Mr Bal added: "He went to the police station himself and made full and frank admissions. There wasn't clear evidence - it would have been very difficult for the prosecution to prove if he had not come forward.
"He accepts his actions were reckless, but he did not intend to cause any harm to the complainant or anyone else on the pitch."