A FATHER and son duo of Burnley fans accused of hurling abuse at an Albion match are to stand trial.

Stewart and Nathan Higgins both deny making homophobic remarks during the club’s 3-1 victory against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex stadium on February 9.

Nathan Higgins, an 18-year-old student, also denies shouting racial abuse during the game.

The pair, who wore white shirts, black trousers and both live in Talbot Drive, Burnley, Lancashire, pleaded not guilty to using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress when they appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court today.

Higgins junior, as he was referred to in court, also pleaded not guilty to using racially aggravated threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

His engineer father stood next to him in the dock as they spoke only to confirm their identities, each describing their nationality as English, before entering their pleas during the brief hearing.

They were both granted unconditional bail until their trial on May 13 at the same court.

Police previously said two away fans were ejected from the match and arrested after club stewards responded to reports of abuse.

During the game, Brighton defender Gaetan Bong was said to have been subjected to boos from opposition fans after last season’s racism row with Burnley-born West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez.

The case follows a string of incidents and claims from campaigners that discrimination in football is on the rise.

Last month Brighton boss Chris Hughton called for supporters who abuse footballers to be punished “as hard as possible”.

His comments came after Bong had been subjected to boos and derogatory chants when he came on as a substitute in the FA Cup fourth-round replay win against West Bromwich Albion.

In January 2018, Bong accused Rodriguez of making a racist comment, an allegation which was “not proven” following an investigation by the Football Association.