Football fan called Rio Ferdinand 'f***ing monkey' and Mike Dean 'gay boy', court hears

Wolves fan Jamie Arnold has been accused of racially abusing Rio Ferdinand and homophobically abusing referee Mike Dean during a match between Wolves and Manchester United in May last year

Posted Tuesday, August 09, 2022 by

Football fan called Rio Ferdinand 'f***ing monkey' and Mike Dean 'gay boy', court hears
32-year-old Jamie Arnold has been accused of using threatening, abusive or insulting words towards both Rio Ferdinand and Mike Dean

A 32-year-old Wolves fan has appeared in court after allegedly racially abusing Rio Ferdinand and shouting homophobic slurs at referee Mike Dean.

Jamie Arnold, of Staffordshire, is accused of calling Ferdinand a "f***ing monkey" and Dean a "f***ing gay boy" during a Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolves at Molineux back in May 2021.

Dean was officiating the match while Ferdinand was there as a pundit for BT Sport.

CCTV footage played in court allegedly showed Arnold making an offensive gesture towards Ferdinand, while also chanting: "One John Terry, there's only one John Terry" - with whom Ferdinand has a personal history.

He was ejected from the ground by police, during what was the first round of fixtures in which fans could return following Covid-19, after stewards were alerted to the situation by several other supporters sitting near Arnold.

Arnold pleaded not guilty to the charges last August and has been on bail on the condition he not attend any of Wolves' home matches.

Ferdinand, who was pictured arriving in court this morning, discussed the incident on air afterwards, saying: "It's pleasing and refreshing that it's been taken so seriously but I'd love to meet up with the fella and educate him a little bit" he said. "Punishing people without education isn't the way forward."

Prosecutor Jason Arris said: "Mr Ferdinand was aware of a group of supporters who were shouting rather enthusiastically at him. Mr Ferdinand noticed this defendant was focusing all of his attention on him, he was giving hand gestures and jumping up and down and misbehaving himself. Mr Ferdinand, being the professional that he is, chose to ignore this behaviour.

"The defendant was pointing towards the direction of the Billy Wright Stand where Mr Ferdinand was stood. This defendant put his hands underneath his armpits and started to jump around where he clearly tried to imitate and mimic a monkey.

"It was clearly intended to be racist. People who were at the match heard this defendant shout 'Rio you f****** monkey. Supporters who witnessed this were appalled, they were disgusted by the defendant's behaviour."

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