TWO Saints fans who hurled sickening racist abuse at rival supporters have been banned from attending football matches for three years.

Thomas Flynn and Michael Haydon shouted anti-Semitic abuse and made Nazi-style salutes at opposition fans during a match at St Mary's Stadium.

Now the pair have been banned from attending games in Britain and abroad for three years.

Flynn, 22, of Yeovil Chase, Harefield, Southampton and Haydon, 23, of White Hart Lane, Cadnam, admitted a charge each of using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour in what was deemed a religiously aggravated public order offence.

Southampton Magistrates' Court heard how the pair visited the stadium for Saints' Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur on December 19.

Prosecutor Charles Nightingale told the court how Flynn, Haydon and another man were seen shouting anti-Semitic abuse at Spurs fans from a section of the ground where both fans are separated.

Mr Nightingale told the court how two Jewish Spurs fans saw a group of men making "fascist salutes" and "racist gestures" during the match, which Spurs won 2-0.

Mr Nightingale said one of Spurs fans reported: "There was a white male raising his right hand and finger below his nose and making hissing sounds imitating gas escaping."

He said the fan felt "sick with anger" and seeing other fans "disgusted" at the gestures he felt were Nazi salutes and sounds he took as imitating "gas chambers", it was heard.

The second fan - who lost relatives in the Holocaust - said he heard chants of "gas the Jews" from the group, Mr Nightingale said.

A steward notified police and Haydon was arrested at the ground and Flynn was detained nearby, but the third man was never traced, it was heard.

Jane Hiatt, for Haydon, said her client - who had been drinking since earlier that morning - admitted making hissing sounds but denied saluting and shouting abuse.

She said the season ticket holder had attended games aged five and told the court: "This is very out of character and a blip. He's horrified and ashamed."

Nicola Attwood, for Flynn, said her client - who was sober - also admitted hissing, but denied making salutes and added: "He is disgusted with himself and that he deserves a ban and that the people would be gravely offended by his behaviour."

But magistrate Victoria Parker sentenced them to a three-year banning order preventing them from attending games in Britain and requiring them to hand passports to police before major games abroad.

She said: "This was a very serious matter and watching you during these court proceedings I think you know that and are very ashamed of what you did."

The pair - who were also handed a 12-week community order and curfew - are also banned from going within a mile of St Mary's Stadium four hours before and four hours after kick-off on matchdays.

They were also ordered to pay £145 in costs.