Hereford & Worcester

Police probe into Worcester City footballer Lee Smith tweet

Police are investigating reports a Worcester City footballer tweeted an alleged racist remark.

A tweet, from striker Lee Smith's account, prompted other users to accuse him of "spreading hatred".

Reports in the local media said Smith had paid tribute to fallen soldiers on Armistice Day but made an alleged racist remark in the same tweet.

It has since been removed and Smith has apologised. Gloucestershire Police said they took the matter "very seriously".

His club said they were also investigating the situation.

Twitter user hullablue responded to Friday's comment, saying: "You disgrace Armistice Day by spreading hatred, intolerance and calling to murder people."

They added: "You are a nasty piece of work who wants to kill people of other nationalities, our forefathers fought against idiots like you."

Another user, nbfcupdates, wrote: "Woah how incredibly tasteless."

Smith was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

However, on Monday a tweet from his account said: "Well here's the truth I'm NO RACIST OR FASCIST and if any1 who I have offended then I'm sorry ok."

Club vice chairman Colin Layland said the comment "took us all by surprise".

He said the matter would be discussed at a board meeting that was due to be held on Thursday.

'Taken out of our hands'

Mr Layland said: "We take racism very seriously, this took us all by surprise."

"We are involved in Kick Out Racism, which has basically been taken out of our hands by someone we employ.

"Until we investigate as a matter of urgency we won't know any more and then we'll go from there."

Smith, who lives in Gloucestershire, joined the club in September from Nuneaton Town.

Gloucestershire Police have confirmed they are looking into the alleged comments.

Supt Gary Thompson said: "We are grateful that these comments have been brought to our attention and it is a matter that we are taking very seriously.

"We will be liaising with both West Mercia Police and the football club to establish what type of investigation is necessary."

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