Pompey boss says ‘nutcase’ fan should come forward

Sonny Bradley
Sonny Bradley
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POMPEY boss Richie Barker has called for a ‘nutcase’ supporter who allegedly tried attacking a Blues player to be identified.

The call comes after Sonny Bradley claimed a fan went to swing at him at the end of Pompey’s clash against Exeter at St James Park on Saturday.

It was an ugly end to the game around the tunnel area after the Blues had conceded a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.

Fans who were at the match have disputed the 22-year-old’s version of events and, despite Barker’s calls, Pompey say they do not intend to launch an investigation.

Some away supporters who claim to have witnessed the incident said Bradley launched a foul-mouthed tirade at an aggressive supporter who had abused the centre-back as he approached the tunnel – but did not see a punch being thrown.

Mr Bradley claims he does not remember swearing back.

He later referred to the incident on Twitter – before deleting his posts hours later.

Barker said Bradley informed him of his version of events – and wants the fan who provoked him to be caught.

The Pompey manager said: ‘Unfortunately one nutcase decided to swing his arms at Sonny which, as a supporter connected with the football club, we don’t want and I think we could do with tracking that person down.

‘Sonny told me some bloke started swinging his arms at him and we need to track that person down and find out who it is.

‘As disappointed as everybody was, that is not a proper Portsmouth fan for me.

‘I was already in the dressing room when it happened, I spoke to Sonny afterwards and that is what he told me.

‘We need to track down this person and hopefully there are enough proper, loyal supporters who are going to point somebody out.

‘I am sure somebody saw it and to be fair to Sonny, he just came in and got on with it.’

Sarah Banks, a member of Portsmouth FC Supporters Club was close to where the argument took place.

She said: ‘The players were all going off the park, and there was some idiot and he was getting other fans wound up as well.

‘This bloke was having a go, and I think Sonny just took offence to what he was saying.’

Mrs Banks claims Mr Bradley put his arms up and walked over towards the supporter and swore at him before walking into the tunnel.

‘I didn’t see any punch thrown, but unfortunately some supporters got riled up by the fact he did that (swore), as there were kids there as well,’ she said.

Mrs Banks’ husband Paul, who is the away travel officer for the supporters’ club, said: ‘I just saw some hand gestures, and then Sonny talking to a bloke.’

Pompey fan Paul Williams, who was at the game, told The News Mr Bradley was involved in a ‘rant back at fans’ and thought his behaviour was ‘poor.’

Mr Bradley said the fan who abused him had crossed the line.

‘I came off the pitch at the end, I was coming off and the fans are real close,’ he said. ‘There was one man, and I know it’s one man, but he’s got his arm up ready to punch me.

‘There were words between me and him – he threw a punch at me.

‘There were things said, but what do you expect?

‘I understand the fans’ frustration but there is a line. There’s a line and he’s crossed it.’

Mark Catlin, Pompey chief executive, downplayed the situation and said Mr Bradley would be spoken to – but no action would be taken against the fan.

‘It’s an absolute storm in a teacup,’ he said. ‘We internally looked into it, and there were no punches thrown.

‘We will be speaking to him (Mr Bradley) about it, but this is football.

‘It goes on every day of the week.’

*Were you the fan involved in an argument with Sonny Bradley? Call our news desk on (023) 9262 2118 or e-mail newsdesk@thenews.co.uk