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Racism probe launched after Rushall Olympic players allegedly targeted with abuse in defeat to Kettering Town

By Russell Youll | Walsall | Rushall Olympic | Published:

A probe into alleged racist abuse aimed two Rushall Olympic players has been launched after the club's match with Kettering Town.

Orrin Pendley (left) and AJ Adelekan (right) were allegedly the target of racist abuse, reportedly overheard by Rushall striker Massiah McDonald (centre) (Photos: Steve Walker)

Rushall suffered a last-gasp defeat at their league rivals on Saturday but the game has been overshadowed by claims that two Kettering supporters targeted Pics defenders Orrin Pendley and AJ Adelekan.

The abuse was heard by Rushall striker Massiah McDonald, who had been substituted and was sitting in the stand behind the dugout at Latimer Park, and Kettering's attacker Aaron O'Connor, who was on the pitch at the time.

The pair took to social media stating that the supporters called the Rushall defenders 'c****' and 'monkey' during the clubs' Southern Central league clash.

McDonald tweeted: "The two Kettering town supporters who was sat behind me today... should be disgusted with yourselves! 'We can’t play balls over the top against their defence them two c**** will run all day' followed up by a chuckle. 'Can we still say c****?”

Kettering's O'Connor added: "Playing for racist supporters.... an all time career low

"I also heard a supporter call Orrin a monkey as he headed a ball clear today. Whoever u are, please don’t come back, you are not wanted and I and I’m sure the rest of the boys DO NOT wanna play for you either. I’m ashamed for you"

Speaking afterwards, Rushall striker McDonald told the Express & Star: "I have never, ever heard anything like it before in my time in non-league football.

"I'm dual heritage; my dad is black and my mum is white but I've never experienced anything like this before.

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"I was sat in the stand seats after coming off, and at first I didn't believe what I heard.

"Then I leaned back to listen again and they called them c**** again. I heard it clear as day.

"I was sat in a little section. Everyone there knew each other in the stands so someone must know who was shouting it. The shocking thing is whoever it was must think it is normal to do this."

He added: "I actually travelled to the game with my friend Aaron O'Connor, who plays for Kettering. He was actually on the pitch at the time and he heard it too. That shows just how clear it was."

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In a club statement, Rushall said: "As a club we abhor racism and discrimination in all forms and will continue to support our players and staff throughout all our teams through all of our age groups.

"Our chairman, John Allen, has spoken to the Kettering Town chairman, David Mahoney, and Kettering Town have released an official statement which reiterates their conversation that the alleged incidents will be fully investigated and we will offer our full co-operation as a club during this time.

"As a club, the welcome given to our officials at Kettering Town on Saturday was warm and we are in no doubt that the good people of both Rushall Olympic and Kettering Town, that’s players, staff and supporters, will do their utmost to assist in the investigative process. "

Kettering Town added in their own statement: "The club has been made aware of an allegation of racist comments being made during the game against Rushall Olympic.

"We will obviously investigate these claims but in the meantime would remind everyone attending Latimer Park that such behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. If you did witness anything during yesterday’s match then please contact club chairman David Mahoney via david.mahoney@ketteringtownfc.com.

"Likewise if you witness anything at a future fixture we ask that you immediately inform a match day steward who will deal with the matter.

"The board wishes to apologise to anyone impacted by these events and assure you that we will not tolerate such behaviour."

Russell Youll

By Russell Youll
@russyoull_star

Group Sports Editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star

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