Sick text message being investigated

Last updated : 02 June 2003 By Michael Morris
The text was included amongst messages posted from fans at the Cardiff v QPR game. The message referred to the unfortunate death of Swansea supporter Terry Coles at Rotherham 3 years ago. As a fan of football and a father myself I have full sympathy for the Coles family and was saddened at their loss in 2000. I hope that the sender of the text is located made aware of the seriousness of their actions. To lose a family member is tragedy enough, the Coles family do not need to be put through the pain again in such a thoughtless way.

Report from BBC Wales.

Terry Coles
Terry Coles died in May 2000
A widow has condemned a sick taunt - flashed on the big screen during a Cardiff City match - referring to the tragic death of her husband at a football match three years ago.

An investigation is under way after the message about Terry Coles's death was shown on the giant screen during the Cardiff-QPR play-off at the Millennium Stadium last Sunday.

Mr Coles, a Swansea City fan, was accidentally kicked to death by a police horse at a game in Rotherham in May 2000.

The message appeared after being submitted - alongside genuine goodwill messages - via a mobile phone to staff operating the big screen.

Although some messages are rejected, the 'sick' taunt got through because workers did not understand the reference it contained.

The message also mentioned former star Alan Davies, who committed suicide while a Swansea player.

His widow Christine, 55, said she was appalled by the text message.

"It's horrible - they're obviously sick," she said.

"They are just sad and I'm not going to let it affect me."

Cardiff City Chief Executive David Temme said he was disgusted by the incident.

Cardiff's Andy Campbell
Andy Campbell scored during the play-off match

"No Cardiff City supporter or anyone with contacts in football would be connected with such a vile and offensive statement," he said.

The Football League say they are deeply sorry for any offence caused, and have offered to help police find the people responsible.

"We know the number the text was sent from and we will co-operate with any police inquiry," said a spokesperson.

Father-of-two Mr Coles, 41, was fatally injured as visiting supporters were ushered into turnstiles in Rotherham.

Marilyn Croft, spokesperson for the Swansea Supporters Trust, called for the person responsible to be dealt with.

"I think is is absolutely moronic - it is a cruel thing to have happened," she said.

"It must have been some very sick individual to have done something like this."