Ashley Cole family 'happy at Rio Ferdinand being cut by coin'
‘Give that man a medal!' Facebook messages suggest Cole's mum and brother enjoyed coin-throwing
THE family of Chelsea star Ashley Cole have apparently called on the thug who threw a coin at Rio Ferdinand to be given a medal for his actions. In an astonishing series of messages posted on Facebook in the names of Cole's mother and brother, they appeared to gloat over the incident during Sunday's Manchester derby that left the United defender with blood streaming from above his left eye.
The Ferdinands and the Coles, it should be said, have previous, stemming from an incident last season in which Chelsea captain John Terry racially abused Anton Ferdinand, Rio's brother. Ashley Cole appeared as a defence witness for his team-mate when the case went to court in July, and Ferdinand later endorsed comments on Twitter that Cole was a "choc ice".
Cole and Rio Ferdinand – England team-mates for many years - said later they were still friends. That may be the case, but judging from the comments that appeared on Facebook on Sunday night there remains a residue of ill-feeling among Cole's family.
The Daily Mirror reports that hours after Ferdinand was hit by the two pence coin at the Etihad Stadium, Cole's brother, Matty, posted a message saying: "So happy Rio got hit in the face today when he tried to give it kissing his badge!! Straight in the eye!! Made my day." A short while later Cole's mum, Sue, appeared to have her say on the thread, adding: "Bloody missed that, ha ha ha… Give the fan that threw it a medal!!!"
The Mirror says Matty Cole then reassured his mum that "they'll show it on MoTD [Match of the Day] sooooo funny lol."
That wasn't the end of the banter, however, because when Ferdinand appeared at the final of The X Factor in Manchester on Sunday evening, Sue Cole allegedly wrote on her son's Facebook page: "Rio in audience at x factor, wonder if he can see?????"
The Mirror says that when a reporter confronted Sue Cole outside her Essex home last night she claimed "It wasn't me" and five minutes later the offending thread had been deleted from her Facebook page.
Meanwhile Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that nine people have been charged with various offences in the wake of the Manchester derby, although the person responsible for throwing the coin at Ferdinand is still being sought. One of those charged is 21-year-old Matthew Stott, a landscape gardener from Knutsford, who ran on to the pitch towards Ferdinand and was restrained by Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Stott issued a statement through his solicitors in which he apologised for his behaviour. "I am extremely ashamed of my actions," he declared. "I have let myself down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City Football Club. I intend to write personally to Mr Ferdinand to express my extreme regret and apologies and also apologise to Manchester United and their fans."