16th Dec, 2019

Bromsgrove Sporting and football community rally behind fan who was bullied for wearing signed shirt

Craig Gibbons 3rd May, 2017 Updated: 3rd May, 2017

A PASSIONATE Bromsgrove Sporting fan who was called a ‘loser’ for wearing a signed football shirt in a ‘vile’ viral video has received incredible support from club officials, players and sponsors.

James Randle was subjected to the abuse in the early hours of Sunday morning at the McDonald’s store in Worcester following the club’s final Midland League Division One fixture of the season on Saturday against Lichfield City which Sporting won 5-0.

In the video, allegedly filmed by a Littleton FC player, Mr Randle was labelled a ‘f***ing loser’ for wearing a Sporting shirt which had been signed by every single one of the players.

And Sporting’s manager Paul Smith was left ‘disgusted’ by the fact that the ‘perfect example’ of a non-League fan was bullied in this way.

“The video was awful – bullying has no place in society let alone football,” he said.

“When I saw it I was just disgusted because James’ face when he gets called a loser breaks him and it broke me too.

“It was important this issue was made aware of and hopefully stops others from doing the same.

“I’m over the moon with the reaction we have had from fans and clubs in non-League and League football and he is going to be truly spoiled this weekend.

“Hopefully we can film him with a smile on his face as he’s a great lad and supports this club religiously.”

As Mr Randle could not make it to Saturday’s Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup semi-final at Coton Green due to travel issues, the Sporting boss has decided to take him to the match as his guest.

Club secretary David Stephens has also said Mr Randle will be his assistant for the day while clothing suppliers Moving Forward Sports are sending through a ‘goodie bag’.

Fellow Midland League clubs have also offered to look after the Sporting fan when on his away days next season in the Midland League Premier Division while Watford FC Ladies have sent him a signed shirt.

“The support I have received has been fantastic but there was no way I was going to let this incident prevent me from going to matches,” said Mr Randle.

“It’s quite frightening how social media can be because I did not even know the video had been shared on the internet until Paul [Smith] rang me.

“Hopefully the person involved will get a telling off and it would be nice to get an apology, but that’s probably pushing it.”

Littleton’s chairman Paul Harrison confirmed to the Standard that the club is looking into the matter but refused to comment any further.

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