Exeter City FC One Game, One Community group member commended
Anderson Jones, a member of Exeter City FC’s One Game, One Community group, is to be commended by the High Sheriff of Devon for stepping in when drunken youths racially abused a woman at a football game.
The former Exeter City council diversity officer had noticed a Sikh woman in a sari, who was watching her husband play football, being racially abused by a group of men who had been drinking.
Anderson said: “I was just walking over the Millennium Bridge to play football when I noticed the group. One of them was being bang out of order – I couldn’t believe what he was saying to this woman.
“I couldn’t repeat what they said. I was sickened by their approach and just wasn’t having it. I told them what they were doing was out of order and grabbed one of them by the arm, but he swung for me. I saw it coming and ducked and it flared up from there.”
Commenting on Anderson’s actions, Judge Philip Wassall, said: “I would like to commend him publicly for what he did that day. It would have been very difficult for him to go over to the group but he did so, nonetheless. I think that was a very brave and public-spirited thing for him to do.”
Anderson continued: “I’m really surprised at the judge’s comments and the commendation – it’s absolutely superb. The comments the judge made are wonderful and I’m absolutely stunned.”
He added: “I find issues with racism and Islamophobia are more prevalent in the South West because there isn’t as high a number of coloured people down here. It is something I feel very strongly about.”
One of the offenders was this week jailed for 11 months at Exeter Crown Court for his role in the racist abuse towards Mr Jones during the incident on May 30, last year.
David Browning, 24, who is of no fixed abode but is formerly from Smythen Street, Exeter, walked free on Tuesday because of time already spent in custody, which was the equivalent of a year in jail.
The court heard that the main instigator of the original racist abuse was still “at large”.