Non-league goalkeeper signs, concedes four, headbutts fan & sacked on same day | inside World Soccer

Non-league goalkeeper signs, concedes four, headbutts fan & sacked on same day

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Non-league goalkeeper signs, concedes four, headbutts fan & sacked on same day
Photo: @PatchingLewi

A goalkeeper has apologised after a crazy day where he joined a non-league club, let in four goals, headbutted a fan, and then got the sack.

Lewis Patching's time at eighth-tier outfit AFC Rushden & Diamonds was short and dramatic.

The 22-year-old joined the club as an emergency signing at the weekend shortly before their Northern Premier League fixture against Hye Town with their usual first-choice goalkeeper unavailable.

Unfortunately, things went downhill from there.

Patching conceded four goals in his debut match, and he reportedly got into an argument with a fan at a local bar following the game, which his team lost 4-0.

The incident resulted in his contract being terminated just 24 hours after he signed.

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A club statement released on Sunday addressing that Patching's registration had been cancelled.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds are aware of an incident in the bar between a first-team player and a supporter following this afternoon's defeat to Lye Town.

The player in question has had his registration with the club cancelled with immediate effect and will not feature for the club going forward.

Whilst football is a game that evokes extremes of emotions and divides opinions, AFC Rushden & Diamonds are committed to ensuring that all players, supporters and visitors treat one another with respect and are able to attend matches free from the threat of abuse of either a physical or verbal nature.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds are committed to ensuring that any event hosted by the club is done so in a safe and welcoming environment and exercise a zero tolerance stance on any and all violence.

Patching, who previously spent nine years at the academy of League One outfit Northampton Town, later issued a public apology for his actions.

Firstly, I'd like to apologise to the supporter involved and Rushden & Diamonds FC for the events that took place [on] Saturday evening.

I was disappointed how the game panned out personally and for the club.

After the game a group of home supporters began hurling abuse. One of them then confronted me directly, invading my personal space and shouting in my face aggressively.

Genuinely fearing for my safety and emotions running high, I reacted, which I deeply regret.

This is not an excuse for my actions and I'm disappointed in myself for losing control.

Again, I'd like to apologise and wish the club/supporter all the best moving forward.

Lewi.

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