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'No further action' after investigation into Morecambe v Bolton racial abuse claims

A pitch invasion at the Morecambe v Bolton match on February 5 2022

No further action will be taken against a Morecambe football supporter after claims of racial abuse at a match against Bolton Wanderers.

Police said there was "insufficient evidence" to press charges against the man and the case is now concluded, as exclusively revealed on Beyond Radio on Tuesday night.

The League One match between Morecambe and Bolton Wanderers at the Mazuma Stadium on February 5 was stopped for 10 minutes and the players taken off the pitch following a verbal incident involving Morecambe fans and members of the Bolton bench.

Bolton Wanderers claimed that players and staff had been subjected to abuse, which had turned racist.

A man from Morecambe was later arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence, then bailed.

Following a nine-month investigation, Det Insp Adie Knowles of Lancaster Police said no charges would be brought.

"We have conducted our investigation, we have liaised with the Crown Prosecution Service, and the decision is there will be no further action taken against that individual, and the investigation is now concluded," said Det Insp Knowles, during his regular Beyond the Beat slot on Tuesday night on Beyond Radio.

"There was insufficient evidence for that individual who was arrested to be charged.

"We've done everything that we could do, and the CPS have decided that is the end of the case."

Det Insp Knowles said in August that the investigation had been "hampered to an extent with the availability of getting key statements".

Morecambe FC released this statement: "Lancashire Police have confirmed that no further action will be taken in relation to an allegation of racist abuse at our fixture versus Bolton Wanderers last season.

"As attendances at the Mazuma Stadium continue to grow, we remain committed to our belief that the matchday environment shall be one that is entirely inclusive, respectful and safe, so that everyone can enjoy it.  

"Morecambe Football Club continue to call upon clubs and the authorities to work together when faced with challenging situations such as this one, as it is only by cooperating and communicating in a collaborative manner that we can make the game that we all love better."

Bolton Wanderers FC have declined to comment.

The match, which finished 1-1, was marred by trouble both inside and outside the ground.

Bolton fans invaded the pitch after they scored a late equaliser, it appeared that a missile was thrown towards the Morecambe goalkeeper, and there were reports of two assaults on Morecambe supporters outside the ground after the match; one of which on a man in a mobility scooter.

Det Insp Knowles said in August: "The pitch encroachment issues have been left with Greater Manchester Police to liaise with Bolton and deal with as they see fit.

‘"As for the two assaults, with the gentleman in the mobility scooter, we’ve made all reasonable lines of enquiry, but unfortunately those responsible haven’t been identified.

"With the incident of the male assaulted near the stadium, we sent various CCTV images back to Greater Manchester Police to try and identify who they were, as we suspect they were involved. As of yet, they haven’t provided any positive identification."

We have contacted Lancashire Police and Greater Manchester Police for an update on the remaining investigations.

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