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'Crazy' fan racially abused me - Ba

West Ham striker Demba Ba described yesterday how a supporter screamed at him and issued racist insults during Monday night's end-of-season dinner at a London hotel.

Police officers were called to the Grosvenor House Hotel after a scuffle broke out, a day after the club had been relegated following their 3-2 defeat at Wigan.

The flashpoint came after Ba had signed an autograph for the fan, who was one of 750 supporters to have paid £250 to attend the party.

Ba said: "It was a crazy situation. This guy came to me when we were sitting at the table. He asked for an autograph so I gave him his autograph. Then he asked me nicely how I was feeling so I just said I was tired from the game and that it was a tough game. And then he just replied, 'Oh, we're tired watching you play every weekend'.

"Then the guy all of a sudden started screaming at me like crazy. I tried to calm him down but he didn't want to. He kept on screaming, then some players came and pushed me out of there.

"They just told me to walk away and tried to calm this guy but he didn't want to calm down and started smashing some tables and glasses. I didn't understand everything that he said but the people next to me said he was saying racist things and stuff.

"When (Danny) Gabbidon heard these words he came and tried to talk to him but this guy didn't want to listen and started insulting Gabbidon as well.

"Nobody punched anybody, like I read in the newspaper. It was just one guy screaming and smashing tables. No one touched me."

A police spokesmansaid officers had attended the scene but there were "no offences alleged and no arrests."

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan yesterday said the club wanted a British manager to replace Avram Grant, who was sacked on Sunday. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent