Hartlepool United midfielder Gus Mafuta thanks fans following difficult spell

Gus Mafuta knows not to tarnish all Hartlepool United fans with the same brush following Saturday’s events at Victoria Park.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 06:00 am
Gus Mafuta on the attack during the Vanarama National League match between Maidenhead United and Hartlepool United at York Road, Maidenhead on Saturday 10th August 2019. (Credit: Ian Randall | MI News)

The midfielder and his teammates were left disgusted by events during the 2-0 defeat against Dover which saw a 43-year-old man arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order and released under investigation.

Many Poolies were quick to condemn what had happened and show their support for Mafuta and the rest of the Pools squad.

One fan delivered a heartfelt handwritten message to the club’s training ground imploring Mafuta along with several other players to stick with the club.

And a demonstration ahead of Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Chesterfield saw almost 3,000 fans hold up the ‘Love Pools, Hate Racism’ message.

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“I just want to say thank you to the fans who have supported us and sent messages out to us,” Mafuta said.

“I know the supporters here and we have had a message from one of them at the training ground on Monday morning, which I am very thankful for.

“I think what people have to understand is, when something like that happens from within your own support, you can’t blame anyone for questioning whether they can pull the shirt on again.

“I’m not saying it’s the case, but if me or whoever had that initial thought, you can’t blame them.

“It’s not affected my desire to play for Hartlepool but it is horrible to see and hear that from a small minority of home fans.

“I don’t want to be seen as something I’m not, I know there are people a lot higher than me and people involved with Kick It Out who do their jobs to try and tackle the problem.”

In his matchday programme interview, the 24-year-old ended with a simple yet effective statement.

Mafuta concluded: “We play for your club and we play for the shirt and don’t expect to see that, home or any, anywhere in football, anywhere in the world, anywhere in life. It has to stop.”