Peter Beardsley leaves Newcastle coaching role
FA still investigating allegations of bullying made against Beardsley
Last Updated: 06/03/19 8:16pm
Newcastle have announced the departure of Peter Beardsley from his role as the club's U23 coach.
Beardsley was put on paid leave by Newcastle in January 2018 following accusations of racism and bullying from member's of the club's youth squads.
The former England international "categorically denied" the accusations via his solicitors when an investigation was launched by the club.
"Newcastle United can confirm that Peter Beardsley is no longer employed by the club," a statement released on Wednesday said.
"We are grateful for the contribution Peter has given over the years as a player, coach and ambassador and we wish him well for the future. The club will make no further comment at this time. "
Beardsley released a statement of his own after the departure was confirmed.
He said: "The time is now right for me to seek a new challenge and I wish the players all the best and the supporters the success they deserve.
"I have always honoured my contractual obligations of confidentiality to the club and maintained my silence, which has in itself been very difficult.
"I am incredibly grateful for the tremendous support I have received and I look forward to the future."
Beardsley had been under investigation over claims he bullied London-born winger Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, who is of Moroccan descent.
The 22-year-old accused Beardsley of humiliating him and lodged a complaint, which was supported by some of his team-mates.
El-Mhanni was released by Newcastle at the end of last season, before eventually joining Sky Bet League One side Scunthorpe United, where he has made seven appearances this campaign.
Although Beardsley has now also left the club, the Football Association has confirmed it is still looking into the bullying allegations.
An FA spokesperson said: "The allegations made against Peter Beardsley continue to be under consideration by The FA. We are not in a position to comment further at this time."
A Newcastle great, Beardsley made more than 300 appearances for the club in two spells, before being offered a coaching role following his retirement.
In 2003, he and academy director Kenny Wharton were cleared after an FA Premier League inquiry dismissed allegations of bullying made by youth players James Beaumont and Ross Gardner.
Beardsley left Newcastle in 2006 but, having returned in an ambassadorial role following Mike Ashley's takeover, he was appointed as an academy coach once again in 2009.