Wolves fan facing trial next year accused of racially abusing Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand
Credit: PA Images

A football fan will stand trial next year after denying he racially abused former England defender Rio Ferdinand during a Premier League match.

Jamie Arnold, aged 31, is accused of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress to Ferdinand by using "threatening, abusive or insulting" words or behaviour during the Wolves and Manchester United match on May 23.

The match at which the offence is alleged to have been committed was the first time fans had returned to Molineux since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, following the easing of restrictions.

The Wolves fan from Norton Bridge in Staffordshire was granted conditional bail after a 25-minute hearing on Thursday (August 26), until a trial on August 8 next year.

At the hearing, Arnold spoke only to confirm his not guilty plea, his date of birth, and address.

Former Manchester United star Ferdinand, who is expected to be a witness at the trial, attended Wolverhampton Crown Court on Thursday, but was not in the courtroom during the proceedings

Judge Simon Ward granted bail on the condition that Arnold doesn't attend Wolves' home games.

The Judge said: "I have set the date for your trial on the 8th of August next year. I am sorry it's so far in the future but I have explained why that has to be."