Police to quiz suspect after racist comment at Diamonds match

He will attend a police station for a voluntary interview

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 4:48 pm
Luke Fairlamb in action for Diamonds against Barwell. Credit: HawkinsImages.

A man suspected of making a racist comment during AFC Rushden & Diamonds' draw with Barwell last month is to be quizzed by police.

An investigation was launched after the incident during the second half of Diamonds' clash with the Leicestershire side on September 26 when, with Diamonds trailing 1-0, winger Luke Fairlamb lined up to take a free-kick on the right side of the pitch at the Hayden Road ground.

But he then reacted to a racist comment made from a spectator nearby and referee Richard Eley halted the game.

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A man was immediately ejected from the stadium and the incident was later reported to police.

Officers have since identified a suspect - who they say is an elderly man from Wellingborough - and he will attend a station for a voluntary interview at a date to be confirmed.

It's understood police have taken a number of statements as part of their investigation including one from Fairlamb, who believes the comment was aimed at a Barwell player.

A statement released by AFC Rushden & Diamonds the day after the match said: "Racist abuse, or discrimination of any kind, is not acceptable and will not be tolerated at Hayden Road.

"AFC Rushden & Diamonds is a community football club and as such we pride ourselves on the tolerant, welcoming and family-friendly atmosphere created by our supporters and their good conduct both home and away.

"Any behaviour which falls below the high standards we set ourselves will be dealt with quickly and firmly and supporters whose behaviour brings the club into disrepute will be banned from attending matches."

Speaking after the game Diamonds manager Andy Peaks said: “All I know is that Luke heard a racist comment and he has then told the referee who, to be fair, handled it superbly.

“He told both benches, he told the stewards and they ejected the person from the ground.

“Obviously the club will be getting statements but as far as I, and everyone else at the club is concerned, that is not acceptable."

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

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