Stone man denies racially abusing Rio Ferdinand

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image source, Getty Images
image captionRio Ferdinand played for England, Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers, West Ham and Leeds

A man accused of racially abusing former England footballer Rio Ferdinand has denied the charge in court.

Jamie Arnold, 31, was charged with using racist words and gestures at a match at Wolverhampton Wanderers against Manchester United on 23 May.

Mr Arnold, from Stone, Staffordshire, appeared before Dudley magistrates where he also denied making homophobic comments towards the match referee.

The court granted him unconditional bail ahead of a hearing next week.

Mr Arnold, who spoke only to enter his pleas and confirm his name and date of birth, is due to return to Dudley Magistrates' Court on 6 August.

A trial date has been set for 26 August at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Mr Arnold was arrested during the game, which was the first time fans had returned to the Molineux ground since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Ferdinand, a BBC football pundit, had tweeted about an incident during the game, which United won 1-2, and Wolves FC said it was "deeply sorry" for his experience.

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