Keeper sacked a day after signing for club following fan bust-up issues grovelling apology | Football | Sport


A non-league goalkeeper has apologised following an alleged bust-up with a fan, which resulted in him being sacked just a day after signing for a new club. Lewis Patching, a graduate of Northampton Town’s academy, joined eighth-tier Rushden and Diamonds on an emergency loan at the weekend due to their usual goalkeeper being unavailable.

Patching’s registration was terminated the following day, with the 22-year-old reportedly being involved in an altercation with a fan in a pub. According to reports, the incident took place after he conceded four goals on his debut, with Rushden and Diamonds later confirming that he would not play for them again.

It was not long before Patching took to X, formerly Twitter, to issue an apology for the incident which he said came after supporters ‘hurled abuse’ at him.

He said: “Firstly, I’d like to apologise to the supporter involved and Rushden & Diamonds FC for the events that took place [on] Saturday evening. I was disappointed how the game panned out personally and for the club.

“After the game a group of home supporters began hurling abuse. One of them then confronted me directly, invading my personal space and shouting in my face aggressively. Genuinely fearing for my safety and emotions running high, I reacted, which I deeply regret.

“This is not an excuse for my actions and I’m disappointed in myself for losing control. Again, I’d like to apologise and wish the club/supporter all the best moving forward. Lewi.”

Rushden and Diamonds issued a statement on Saturday evening to confirm that Patching had been sacked with immediate effect. It read: “AFC Rushden & Diamonds are aware of an incident in the bar between a first-team player and a supporter following this afternoon’s defeat to Lye Town.

“The player in question has had his registration with the club cancelled with immediate effect and will not feature for the club going forward.

“Whilst football is a game that evokes extremes of emotions and divides opinions, AFC Rushden & Diamonds are committed to ensuring that all players, supporters and visitors treat one another with respect and are able to attend matches free from the threat of abuse of either a physical or verbal nature.

“AFC Rushden & Diamonds are committed to ensuring that any event hosted by the club is done so in a safe and welcoming environment and exercise a zero tolerance stance on any and all violence.”

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