Walsall Wood FC issue statement on recent incident

This  exemplifies the problems caused by the blustery and sharp wind: the ball falling short of the attacking player .

An otherwise great match marred by conflict. Image by David Evans.

Walsall Wood FC fans may well be aware that there was a violent incident during the mach against Stourport Swifts on New Year’s Day, on which there has been coverage in local papers.

Walsall Wood FC issued the following statement yesterday. I pass no comment upon it an none is invited, it’s for information only.

Walsall Wood FC said:

To Who It May Concern,

With regards to the incident which occurred on 1st January 2015 during a football match between Walsall Wood FC and Stourport Swifts, Walsall Wood FC would like to make the following statement:

We have considered the facts and taken statements from 6 eyewitnesses, including the referee and believe this to be a true and full description of the event,

After 28 minutes of the game, a Walsall Wood player was fouled from behind by a Stourport Swifts player. This was not his first foul challenge of the game. After the incident, the Walsall Wood player got up and was walking away from the incident towards the goal area past the Stourport player, who then spat on the Walsall Wood player. (This is confirmed by the referee.) The Walsall Wood player reacted instinctively and swung out at the Stourport player who fell to the floor. The Walsall Wood player was dismissed and after treatment from his physiotherapist the Stourport payer was also shown the red card for spitting. He then walked off the pitch to the dressing room area, he was not then unconscious. He later walked from the dressing room to the ground entrance.

Whilst the board of Directors of Walsall Wood FC in no way condones violence, we do believe that now this has been brought into the public eye the full facts of the incident need to be reported. We believe the reaction by the Walsall Wood player was instinctive and absolutely not in keeping with his usual conduct both on and off the pitch. In our opinion the incident would never have occurred had our player not been provoked by the initial spitting offence. The club will continue to support the player through this difficult time.

Walsall Wood FC and the player in question regret the incident and are saddened by the injuries incurred by the Stourport player; we sincerely hope both players’ future in football are not affected detrimentally.

Walsall Wood FC will of course comply with any disciplinary measures given by the FA after their investigations and we hope that public opinion of the club or player is not influenced by previous press releases which did not contain the full facts.

We will be making no further statement until these investigations have concluded.

Justin Hodgin Chairman

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