Bellamy’s no racist - Shepherd

Last updated : 25 March 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The Welsh international is at the centre of a Police investigation into an incident at the Jongleurs Comedy club in Cardiff, which culminated with him being thrown down a flight of stairs.

But Bellamy is yet to be interviewed by Police, let alone charged or found guilty – despite what the tabloid press may lead you to believe.

Shepherd had this to say about the incident: "Craig Bellamy was involved in a drunk and disorderly incident.

"We are extremely concerned about this and the player saw Bobby Robson in person. He was warned as to his future behaviour and told to remember his high-profile position at the club.

"Obviously at this stage we do not know all the facts and until we do we do not want to say too much.

"But when we do have the full facts at our disposal we will hold our own investigation.

"And what I will say is that we will not let Craig Bellamy - or any other player for that matter - ruin all the great work Sir Bobby Robson and his boys are doing on the field with anything they might do off it."

But significantly Shepherd added: "Craig Bellamy is no racist. There is absolutely no doubt about that. He may be a rascal but he is certainly no racist."

Although the striker was undoubtedly naïve to allow himself to get involved in any confrontation, the condemnation he has already received seems to be unjustified.

After all there is no official confirmation that he is the individual under investigation for any alleged offence and it may well yet emerge that he was more sinned against than sinner.