FC Wymeswold striker Linford Harris to quit football over alleged racial abuse

A County Cup final was abandoned on Wednesday when fighting broke out between players and supporters following alleged racist abuse

FC Wymeswold striker Linford Harris tells Sky Sports News he will quit football after being the victim of racial abuse in a County Cup final

FC Wymeswold striker Linford Harris, who was racially abused in a County Cup final on Wednesday, says he is going to give up playing lower-league football.

Harris has scored 46 goals for Wymeswold FC so far this season, helping them to the North Leicestershire Division Two league title - with another cup final still to come.

The striker says he had monkey chants and other racist abuse directed at him as he stepped up to take a penalty at the local FA's Holmes Park headquarters on Wednesday night.

The abuse continued after he was sent off for a second bookable offence - a foul which he says he only committed, because he was so incensed by the way he had been treated.

Harris says he plans to report the incidents to police, in the hope that it will act as a deterrent to prevent similar incidents in grassroots football.

"We were a goal down and we won a penalty, as I was running up to it I heard 'You black...', I can't really finish the word.

"So we've heard those remarks and we asked the officials if they heard it and then we played on.

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"[Soon after] a challenge was made, their player got a yellow card and I got a red card. As it happened someone shouted out 'typical black man ruining everything again'.

"The referee pulled the red card out and as I was walking off he shouted out 'get that black [...] off'.

"Words can't describe what I was going through, it was really that bad.

"I went in to get changed, before I know it Reece our centre-back came over. He's reacted to the [abuse] because the linesman and referee have not done anything, and they sent him off for that.

"I went round to see what had happened to the guy and when he was asked what he said, he repeated it in front of everyone.

Leicestershire Police and the FA are investigating after alleged racist abuse of a player.
Image: Leicestershire Police and the FA say they are investigating the alleged racist abuse of a player

"It turned into an altercation, monkey chants, doing all the gestures - it's embarrassing.

"I felt sorry for people being there, there were kids around.

"He was escorted down, but all of sudden he was chasing down other people, my family members. It's just crazy.

"It's the lowest of the lowest. I play football to get away from everything. Now, it's just put me out of it. I'm done, I'm finished. I'm only 24 and this is all I do.

"I never had that feeling. You see it with professionals all the time but to get it at that level, you don't know what to do.

"100 per cent I'm out of it now, I've got work and other problems to worry about."

The Leicestershire and Rutland FA have appealed for witnesses, but despite requests from Sky Sports News, no one has so far been available for comment.

Leicestershire Police say they're investigating the matter and will look at the evidence compiled by the County FA.

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