Fylde launch formal complaint to the FA after bust-up against Chester

AFC Fylde launch a formal complaint to the FA following dressing-room bust-up against Chester… after their 67-year-old kit-man was allegedly abused by the home side’s assistant manager Colin Woodthorpe

  • AFC Fylde have launched a formal complaint to the FA after playing Chester 
  • The club accuse Chester’s assistant manager Colin Woodthorpe of abuse 
  •  Fylde’s 67-year-old kit-man Steve Cowell was the alleged target of the rant

AFC Fylde have made a formal complaint to the FA about the behaviour of Chester and their assistant manager Colin Woodthorpe following an extraordinary dressing-room bust-up after their National League North clash that took place last weekend.

Fylde were considering taking action after around 20 Chester fans attempted to enter their dressing room, with Woodthorpe then alleged to have aimed a foul-mouthed tirade at Fylde kit-man Stephen Cowell.

Fylde have also written to Cheshire Police — alleging that Cowell feared he was going to be dragged from his van after being approached for a second time by Woodthorpe.

AFC Fylde have launched a formal complaint to the FA after a bust-up against Chester

Colin Woodthorpe, here pictured working for AFC Fylde, has been accused of abusing a kitman

Woodthorpe claims he tapped Cowell’s van to ask why he was leaving the stadium before the away dressing room had been cleaned, but denies attempting to enter the vehicle. Fylde won the match at Chester 1-0.

Fylde kitman Steve Cowell told Sportsmail on Monday night that Woodthorpe repeatedly swore at him and called him ‘dog’s breath’ in the away dressing room, before coming at him ‘like a raging bull’ as he tried to leave the ground in a van.

Woodthorpe spent seven years as a coach at Fylde before being sacked by them two years ago, which led to him successfully suing the club for unfair dismissal. The 53-year-old clashed again with his former employers earlier this summer when the club reported him to the FA for allegedly posting abusive messages on social media, but no action was taken.

Steve Cowell, pictured here while employed at Preston, has detailed the abuse allegations

Chester concede there was an incident involving their fans after a heated game featuring three red cards before Fylde scored a last-minute winner, but dispute that fans entered the dressing room. Woodthorpe is understood to have admitted to swearing at Cowell, but has denied charging at him.

‘I opened the dressing-room door to start loading the van and about 20 Chester fans piled in, trying to get at us,’ Cowell told Sportsmail. ‘Luckily there were three police officers there, and they dragged them away before they could do much damage. The police did a great job.

‘I loaded the van, then went back to the dressing room to tidy up when Woodthorpe came at me out of nowhere. He just kept shouting, ‘f*** off, f*** off, f*** off, dog’s breath!’ It was terrifying, but again the police pushed him away and shut the dressing-room door. 

‘I was badly shaken up. I had to stop on the way home to compose myself. I still feel vulnerable. I’m 67 and have grandkids. I’ve worked in football my entire life and have never seen anything like this.’ 




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