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Jack Simpson: Leyton Orient sign player who left Cardiff City over racist abuse

Jack Simpson, who was previously suspended and fined by the FA for directing racial abuse at team-mate Rohan Luthra while at Cardiff, joins Leyton Orient, who say he "deserves a second chance"; defender's initial contract runs until end of current season

Jack Simpson
Image: Jack Simpson joins Leyton Orient having left Cardiff City in August 2023 after admitting to directing racial abuse at team-mate Rohan Luthra

Jack Simpson has joined Leyton Orient on an initial contract until the end of the season "with a view to extending his deal in the summer".

The 27-year-old defender left Cardiff City by "mutual consent" in August 2023, after admitting to directing a racial slur towards his then Cardiff team-mate Rohan Luthra on a pre-season tour.

Simpson publicly apologised in November - two days after Sky Sports News revealed the FA had no plans to appeal the six-match suspension, £8,000 fine and education order given to Simpson by an independent regulatory commission.

On signing for Orient, Simpson said he was grateful for being given a second chance, one Orient's chairman Nigel Travis is happy to give him.

Simpson told Leyton Orient's website: "I'm very grateful to Leyton Orient for giving me the opportunity to rebuild my career. I made a mistake last year, one that I only have myself to blame for and one that I will always regret.

"I stand against racism in all forms and that incident does not reflect my beliefs or my character. I am extremely sorry for what happened and I hope that I can now put this behind me and concentrate on helping Leyton Orient."

6ft 5in Punjabi shot-stopper Rohan Luthra embraces Sky Sports News' Dev Trehan after his first clean sheet for Slough Town
Image: Cardiff's Rohan Luthra is currently on loan at Slough Town

Leyton Orient Chairman Nigel Travis said: "The board and I discussed the possibility of us signing Jack and we have decided that he deserves his second chance.

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"I have full trust in Richie's [Wellens, Orient manager] judgement of Jack's character and, having spoken to him on Sunday, I know that Jack has taken responsibility for his actions last year and is also very willing to offer his support to our Community Trust whilst he is at the club.

"I wish to reiterate that there is no place for racism or any kind of discrimination at our football club. Leyton is one of the most multi-cultural parts of London, which we are very proud of, and I sincerely hope that all visitors to Gaughan Group Stadium feel welcome whenever they come to support us."

Head coach Wellens said: "Jack has trained with us for the last two weeks as we felt it was important for us to assess his personality and his ability. He has been very open with me about the incident that led to him leaving Cardiff and he is very remorseful about it.

"I believe that I'm a good judge of character and I want to make it clear that we would not be signing Jack if I had doubts about him as a person.

"On the pitch, he is a good defender with a lot of qualities that will help us to keep progressing."

Luthra, who remains on Cardiff City's books but is currently on loan at Slough Town, is Punjabi. Leyton Orient's newest fans' group is an official Punjabi supporters' group launched five weeks ago.

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