Arrests made after ex-footballer 'racially abused' at golf club

Kieron Dyer

Two men have been arrested following reports that former footballer Kieron Dyer was racially abused at an English golf club. 

The alleged incident, which it is said took place on July 24, prompted Dyer, capped 33 times by England, to resign as a member of Hintlesham Golf Club. 

The story has attracted widespread media interest and, earlier today, Suffolk police confirmed the arrest of two men.

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The East Anglia Daily Times is reporting that a man in his fifties was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and on suspicion of a malicious communications offence. Another man in his thirties was arrested on suspicion of a malicious communications offence.

The pair remain in police custody and will be interviewed about the alleged incident. 

Former Newcastle and West Ham midfielder Dyer claims that racial slurs were made about him shortly after he had left the premises following a round with friends. 

His playing partners and others inside the bar are said to have witnessed the incident.

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“It was brought to my attention that a member verbally abused me in the bar area at Hintlesham Golf Club last Friday," said the former Newcastle and West Ham midfielder. "That abuse was of a racial nature, and included the words ‘monkey’ and ‘banana’.

“And while I did not hear it myself, as I had left the golf club to go home, I was left shocked when told. My playing partner was in attendance and heard the comments. He was also left upset by the incident informing me of what was said. Others were in attendance and have confirmed they also heard the racial abuse."

He added: “I immediately handed in my resignation via e-mail, and have since left Hintlesham Golf Club. I have spoken to the owners and told them of my decision.

“I have been a member at Hintlesham for a few years and have always found it a nice club with plenty of good people.

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“But for me this is a deeply upsetting incident. I was appalled to be told of what had been said and it is clear to me there is still a long way to go in the battle against racism.

“I just hope the matter is dealt with appropriately by the club. There is no place for this type of racism in our society.”

Prior to today's arrest, Hintlesham officials had released a statement pledging to get to the bottom of the matter.

“Following reports of an alleged racist abuse against Kieron Dyer, a respected member of the club, we have commenced an investigation into the incident," said a club spokesperson.

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“Hintlesham Golf Club will not tolerate racial abuse or any similar abuse at the club. Any member found to be involved in such action will have their membership immediately terminated.

“If such action is committed by a guest at the club they will be banned from returning.

“We pride ourselves as being a friendly and welcoming club and such action is not compatible with our principles.”

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