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Probe as Cole takes a shot at student

ASHLEY Cole has no plans to make a public apology after allegations that he accidentally shot a work placement student at Chelsea Football Club's training ground.

Surrey Police said yesterday that officers were to investigate the shooting in which Tom Cowan (21) was hit in the side with a pellet from a .22 rifle said to have been fired by Cole.

Chelsea refused to say what disciplinary action they had taken against Cole, or to reveal any details of the incident.

A spokesman for Surrey Police said: "We can confirm that while no direct allegation has been made to Surrey Police, the matter has been brought to our attention through reports in the media and we will be contacting the club in due course to establish whether any criminal offence has been committed."

A Chelsea spokesman said: "We have investigated the incident and we are taking appropriate action. We will not be commenting further, as it is an internal matter."

According to reports yesterday, Cole did not know that the gun was loaded when he fired it at Mr Cowan, a sports science student at Loughborough University who is on a one-year placement at Chelsea.

Cole, who was divorced last year by his wife Cheryl, was reported to have been "larking about" with the gun in the dressing room at the training ground in Cobham last Sunday morning when Mr Cowan was hit from a range of five feet.

Mr Cowan, who was bleeding from the side as a result of his injury, was treated by the club's medical staff and was given two days off to recover from the shock.

He was not said to have required hospital treatment and the police were not called.

The shooting was witnessed by a dozen members of the Chelsea staff and a number of the first team squad.


Last Wednesday Mr Cowan was asked to attend a meeting with Chelsea officials.

Mr Cowan's father, Ronald (51), a quantity surveyor from Lincolnshire, who is said to have been angry about his son's treatment, had a second meeting with Chelsea officials on Thursday.

"Ron's angry and feels let down," a source said. "He thought Tom had been called in to get counselling and help coming to terms with what happened. But the club was also trying to find out if he planned to take the matter further." (© The Times, London)


Irish Independent