A Suffolk golf club has announced that it has begun an investigation into claims from former England international Kieron Dyer that he was racially abused in its clubhouse last week.
The alleged incident prompted Dyer, capped 33 times by England, to resign as a member of Hintlesham Golf Club.
After initially declining to comment on the matter when approached by the East Anglia Daily Times earlier this week, the club has responded today with the news attracting beginning to attract more widespread media interest.
In a statement, the club said: “Following reports of an alleged racist abuse against Kieron Dyer, a respected member of the club, we have commenced an investigation into the incident.
“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.”
One of the club's members is said to have made racial slurs about Dyer shortly after he had left the premises following a round with friends.
One of Dyer’s playing partners and others inside the bar are said to have witnessed the incident.
“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.
“I just hope the matter is dealt with appropriately by the club. There is no place for this type of racism in our society.”