Mum calls for apology after Doncaster junior football club charged over racism row

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A Doncaster mum has called for an official apology from a local junior football club after officials were charged over a racism row.

Fuming mum Adele Thaxter complained to the Football Association earlier this year after her son Lucas, 12, was reportedly called the P-word and N-word while playing for Hyde Park Knights in a match against Edlington White Stars.

Edlington initially announced they had been ‘cleared’ after a South Yorkshire Police investigation brought no charges but the club has now been charged by the FA in relation to the incident which took place in April.

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Ms Thaxter has spoken of her joy at the charge – and has now demanded a full apology from the club.

Adele Thaxter wants an apology after her son was racially abused during a junior football match.Adele Thaxter wants an apology after her son was racially abused during a junior football match.
Adele Thaxter wants an apology after her son was racially abused during a junior football match.

She said: “I am really pleased with the outcome and Lucas is too – he just wants to put all this behind him and get on with playing football.

"But the club needs to apologise about the way it handled things. This is a chance for them to admit there’s a problem and tackle racism in junior football.

"I’d like to see all the coaches, players and officials go on an equality course to understand more about racism and why it’s not acceptable.

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"The club needs to act so we can draw a line under the matter.”

Police said they had been unable to identify a perpetrator’ after racist abuse was reported during the match.

Edlington White Stars put out a statement at the time which was subsequently deleted.

"It’s not OK and the culture of ‘sweeping it under the carpet’ needs to change,” she said. “We have to challenge the issue of racial discrimination and systematic racial issues in football.”

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Edlington White Stars said in their statement that the allegation had been investigated by the club and police and had ‘been found innocent and have no case to answer’. It said they had waited until the investigation was completed before releasing a statement.

It added: “As we are an award winning Charter Standard Club, we are responsible for setting standards and values to apply throughout the club at every level, we will not tolerate harassment, bullying, abuse or victimisation of any individual, this includes sexual or racially based harassment or other discrimatory behaviour whether physical or verbal.

“We would like to thank all our players/parents and officials for supporting each other and the club in order to follow correct procedures.”

She says she was informed last month that the club was being charged by the Football Association, but was not made aware of any sanctions or fiines.

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“Hopefully it will show people that we don’t have to sit back and take it and we can do something about it to hold people accountabl,” she said.

"It obviously really hurt my son when they did that statement and turned themselves into the victims.”

It is understood Edlington White Stars will now have to answer the charges levelled against them ahead of an inquiry which will determine sanctions against the club.

Meanwhile, Lucas has now moved to a new club, signing for Sandall Beat JFC.

She added: “He’s happy at the outcome. Now we just need to see the club take action.”