Fan banned for life after racist abuse of Saddleworth Rangers player

A RUGBY league fan is being banned from a club for life after a Saddleworth Rangers player was targeted by racist abuse.

Onlookers say they heard monkey noises directed towards Kelvin Ojeaburu during the 18-14 National Conference League win.

When one man was challenged by officials about the sickening sounds, he is believed to have admitted making them.

It is now believed the West Yorkshire club is banning him for life.

The incident took the gloss of Rangers’ victory as they started their Division Two campaign with a win.

Matt Whitehead scored a try and three goals in a man of the match display while Rob Charles and Gavin Dodd also touched down.

A Rangers spokesman said: “There was an incident late in the game.

“Racist chants from within a section of home supporters behind the posts we were defending. The referee stopped the game immediately.

“Normanton officials acted quickly and effectively. An adult male was ejected.

“The game continued with Kelvin playing a key role in the remaining 10 minutes that ultimately led us to take the points with a late, converted try.

“The Rugby Football League will carry out a thorough investigation over the next few days.”

Sean Whitehead and Paul Ashton’s side next face a local derby as they take on Waterhead Warriors at Shaw Hall Bank Road on Saturday, March 11.

They started their season with a convincing 54-4 win over Milford, with Isaac Pomfrey scoring a hat trick of tries and James Perks and Kegan Brennan two each.

National Conference League officials referred the Normanton incident to the RFL, which is now heading up an investigation.

A spokesman said: “The RFL are investigating this incident after it was referred by the NCL management.

“It will now be dealt with by the RFL’s compliance department, with reference to the Tackle It campaign and the Respect code of conduct.”

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