Pools fans urged to shame terrace racists

UPSET: Shrewsbury Town player Marvin Morgan has a word with the referee during the game against Pools
UPSET: Shrewsbury Town player Marvin Morgan has a word with the referee during the game against Pools
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FOOTBALL fans will tonight be urged to help police identify the yobs who hurled racist abuse at two players.

Hartlepool United welcome Sheffield United to Victoria Park this evening in the first game since the clash with Shrewsbury Town was marred by racist abuse from the terraces.

Town striker Marvin Morgan, who scored both goals in the 2-2 draw, took to Twitter after the game to reveal on the social networking site he had been racially abused by someone in the Victoria Park crowd.

His team-mate Jermaine Grandison also claimed he had been subjected to similar abuse, sparking an investigation by both clubs as well as the police and Football Association.

Pools bosses moved quickly to issue a statement saying racism would not be tolerated at Victoria Park, and fans will be issued with leaflets at tonight’s game urging anyone with information to contact the police or stewards.

Both Morgan and Grandison, who spoke to the match referee during the half-time break to report the abuse, have made official complaints to West Mercia Police after taking advice from Shrewsbury Town.

Those complaints are now in the hands of police in Hartlepool, who are working closely with the club in an attempt to identify the offenders.

And tonight Pools fans coming through the turnstiles will be given leaflets asking them to give up the racists.

It is understood the insults came from two separate sections of the terracing in front of the Niramax Stand, one after around 35 minutes and the other shortly before half time.

Police have studied video footage from the game as well as photographs as part of their investigation.

PC Mick Hume, football intelligence officer for Hartlepool Police, is in charge of the investigation.

PC Hume said: “The two Shrewsbury Town players, Marvin Morgan and Jermaine Grandison, have both made official complainst to West Mercia police following incidents in the game at Hartlepool on September 22.

“Those complaints have now been passed to us, and we are investigating.

“As part of that investigation, we have been working closely with Hartlepool United and supporters attending tonight’s match with Sheffield United will be issued with leaflets urging them to come forward with any information which may help us identify those involved.

“We will be focusing on the sections of terracing on the Mill House side of the ground where the abuse was reported as coming from.

“Police and stewards working at the game this evening will be keen to hear from anyone who can help with the investigation.”

A Pools spokesman said: “The club is doing everything possible to help with the investigation, and we would like to remind supporters that racism in any form will not be tolerated at The Vic as we have shown in its ongoing involvement in the Kick It Out campaigns.

“If any supporters do hear any abuse towards individuals of any nature then we request that you advise your nearest steward so that appropriate action can be taken.”

A spokesman for Shrewsbury Town said: “The complaints have been lodged by the players involved, and the matter is now in the hands of the police in Hartlepool and we are awaiting their response.”