A STUDENT has been charged with racially abusing former footballer Stan Collymore on Twitter.
Joshua Cryer, of Jesmond, Newcastle, was charged with two public order offences after the footballer called the police over comments posted to him through the social networking site.
Collymore contacted police in Staffordshire late on Friday night after he was allegedly sent two tweets by the 21-year-old, who is believed to a be a law student. He was arrested and charged by Northumbria Police after they launched an investigation into the incident. Cryer will appear before Newcastle magistrates on January 23.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said he had been charged with a section five racial public order offence and a section five public order offence.
Cryer is believed to be captain of Newcastle University’s Intra Mural side Barca-Law-Na football team.
Collymore, 40, originally from Cannock, Staffordshire, played for a string of top clubs including Liverpool, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest. He works as a broadcaster for talkSPORT, campaigns against racism and is a supporter of the charity Depression Alliance. Late on Friday night he ‘retweeted’ comments sent to him by a user on the site. A Twitter user allegedly sent two offensive racist messages, which changed his surname to an abusive racist term.
Collymore told his followers that he was going to speak to police and Twitter bosses about the claims. He tweeted: “Is this idiot a serious account? If so, let’s get him banned and arrested.”
Since the allegation was made to police the profile the messages were allegedly sent from has been deleted.
Days before Christmas, the former Liverpool striker highlighted dozens of racist tweets on the microblogging site, calling for the company to take action.
Collymore said Twitter should step in to deal with racist language, saying “tell me there isn’t at least something to address?” The news comes as a number of racially-aggravated incidents have been reported in English football.
In November Newcastle United striker Sammy Ameobi posted a Twitter picture of himself holding a black football boot with the message: “There will always be a place in my heart for the all blacks”.
A Twitter follower with the username @JonnnnyPhipps then replied with a sickening message which said “Your hand is nearly the same colour” before racially abusing the 19-year-old.
Scores of horrified fans rallied round to defend Ameobi after he forwarded the message to his 28,500 followers.
Decent supporters turned on the abuser with some reporting him to the website’s operators and the account was closed down that day.
And last week Liverpool forward Luis Suarez was given an eight-match ban for comments towards Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra, while Liverpool have also opened their own investigation into alleged racist abuse received by young Oldham defender Tom Adeyemi at Friday’s FA Cup tie in Anfield.