East Grinstead Town sack young player involved in racist slur towards Phoenix Sports player as two Isthmian League games suffer from racist attacks

Wednesday 18th September 2019

CRAY WANDERERS officials have confirmed that their players suffered racist abuse at the end of their game last night.


Tony Russell’s men came away from Bishop’s Stortford with a 5-1 win last night to climb into the top eight in the Isthmian League Premier Division table, with 10 points from seven games.

Russell said on Twitter: “Proud of the players last night and I’m not even talking about football.

“My black players were being subjected to being called ‘Monkeys’ was shocking but this only makes us more united.  We must now trust both club’s and The FA to deal with this matter.”

Sam Wright, Cray Wanderers' chief executive, said in a statement: “It is with great regret that we have had to report the racist abuse of one of our players during last night’s game with Bishop’s Stortford. It’s up to The FA, Kick It Out, Isthmian League, County FA and the Police.

“Today, should be a day where we are reflecting on a great footballing performance but sadly the performance on the pitch is being over shadowed by the ugly head of racism in our great game.

“We will fully support all of our players through this incident and hope that the perpetrator is dealt with accordingly.

“We will get this out of our wonderful game and society in general if we keep working at it and stand together.”

Lewes assistant manager Ross Standen spoke of his shock when posting on Twitter:

“Wow! That is disgusting! Hopefully the great win you had up there has some negative effect on the people doing such actions.

“Can’t be hearing this sort of thing in this day and age, sad to hear it has filtered down to our level also.”

While the incident at Bishop’s Stortford came from the terraces, a second racist incident occurred at Phoenix Sports last night and allegedly came from an opposing player, who was sacked by East Grinstead Town this morning.

An eyewitness said: “Happened at the Phoenix game last night too! One of the boys was called a black c***.”

Another eyewitness added: “I will tolerate a lot in footy but I will not tolerate racism directed at my boys! No f*****g way!

“Utterly disgusting behaviour from an absolute moron but so proud of how our boy handled himself, so dignified.”

Phoenix Sports beat East Grinstead Town 6-3 in the Isthmian League South East Division last night to climb up to thirteenth-place in the table, having sealed back-to-back wins and have six points on the board from six league outings.

East Grinstead Town have issued a statement and confirmed that the player in question has been sacked.

“The club were made aware of an incident after the game last night against Phoenix Sports.

“Due to the nature of the incident and the club’s policy on this, the player has been informed this morning by the first team manager that his registration will be released and he will no longer represent the club.

“As a club we feel very strongly that this type of behaviour has no place in football or society and although completely out of character for the young player involved, we felt that the correct action had to be taken.

“We would like to apologise unreservedly to Phoenix Sports and their player involved in this regrettable incident.”

Phoenix Sports chairman Andy Mortlock said in a statement:

"As the chairman of Phoenix Sports Club, I was extremely sickened to hear about the verbal abuse one of our players received last night in our home game against East Grinstead Town.

"Our secretary reported this to the referee after the game.

"I am pleased to read the action taken by the chairman and manager of East Grinstead.

"The 'Kick It Out' campaign in football has worked hard to stop racism in all forms and it has no place in football or our society at all.

"Our manager Paul Bryon will be in conversation with our player to see whether he wants to take this any further but at this stage I fully appreciate and support East Grinstead’s prompt actions."

Cray Wanderers, East Grinstead Town or Phoenix Sports have not identified the players’ involved in these incidents.