I have been asked to post the following statement by the Chairman of Walsall Wood Football club, Justin Hodgin. This is for information only and comment is neither invited, nor appropriate.
Walsall Wood FC said:
Statement From Walsall Wood FC
Following the incident at Walsall Wood FC yesterday during and after our game against Worcester City FC, we would like to make the following statement.
Firstly, we would like to apologise to all Worcester City fans, players, management and committee for the actions of the group of 30 or so youths at the game yesterday, it is not acceptable.
The club has had some issues with a group of youths over the past few games and we believe we took all precautions in assuring the safety and comfort of all fans with employing stewards for the game and also, we had two police officers in attendance.
The club has been trying to engage with these local youths by actively inviting them in the club, so they are not wondering the streets, as all local activities for them are currently not available. We believe the actions of a few are now ruining it for the rest of them.
Any racist comments to anyone at our club will not be tolerated and if we find the person involved we will ban them for life from the club.
I spoke to the manager of Worcester City FC after the game and apologised for any issues he had personally encountered, which he gracefully accepted.
After speaking to the police officers after the game, we in conjunction with them will be going to the local schools where we believe they attend and will be hopefully holding assemblies with the footage the police have from their body cams to try and educate these youths in understanding what local community football should be about, and that their current actions are not acceptable.
We are working with the police and they will be attending our next few games and anyone causing any disturbance or racially abusing anyone with be arrested.
The club hope with the education, we can deal with this problem without any more incidents but we will take the strongest action possible if this is ignored.
We are a local community club with probably one of the most racial diverse player and management teams in the Midland Football League and want to ensure our own loyal fans, players and management team we do not take this matter lightly and we us all working together I am sure this short term problem can be solved.
Please keep the faith and together we will overcome this.
For the Good of the The Wood
Walsall Wood Football Club