Police hunt racist owl14 May 2005

Police in the UK are hunting for a man, after racist abuse marred Sheffield Wednesday’s English League Division-1 play-off match against Brentford on Thursday 12 May 2005. The incidents, directed at Brentford striker Isaiah Rankin, originated from a small section of the Owls crowd. One man could clearly be seen on the live TV coverage making “Monkey gestures” towards Rankin, just yards from a line of on-looking police and stewards who did not intervene.

The Police are now investigating CCTV footage and are seeking assistance from the player and both clubs, after receiving over 30 complaints. One local newspaper has published a photograph of the culprit in the hope that the public will name and shame him.

Sheffield Wednesday, who work closely with both The Owls Against Racism and FARE member Football Unites, Racism Divides, are determined to stamp out such incidents. Anyone identified as being involved in racist abuse is banned from the Hillsborough ground. An Owls spokesman said, “Sheffield Wednesday and the vast majority of its supporters totally condemn racism in all its forms. More than 28,000 fans behaved impeccably at the Hillsborough match and created a tremendous atmosphere for both teams to play in.”