Bellamy on racist charges


Newcastle United striker Craig Bellamy has been charged with three racially aggravated offences as a result of an alleged incident in Cardiff on March 24th this year.

The charges were read out yesterday in a Cardiff court, but, with Bellamy absent, the case was adjourned until July 10th - tomorrow week - when Bellamy will be required to be present in his home city.

Should he plead not guilty at that hearing, the case will be adjourned, possibly until December or January, when a full trial will take place.

Newcastle had no comment to make yesterday.

Bellamy (23), faces one charge of using words or behaviour likely to cause racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress. He also faces two of racially aggravated intentional harassment.

The alleged incident occurred outside a Cardiff nightclub in the early hours of a Monday, after the Wales international squad had assembled in readiness for a European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan in the national capital.

Meanwhile, Lee Bowyer will begin the task of winning over his critics tomorrow when he reports for pre-season training with new club Newcastle.

The 26-year-old midfielder finally completed his move to St James' Park yesterday.

And there was no flourish or fanfare as Glenn Roeder returned to work at West Ham yesterday.

He shook his players' hands, but otherwise it was business as usual at their Chadwell Heath training ground.

Roeder wore a baseball cap which covered the area where his hair had been shaved back before his brain surgery.

He had collapsed after West Ham's win against Middlesbrough on April 21st and was taken to hospital and put on a life-support machine.

"I wouldn't want to be seen as defiant, rather that I am getting back to full health and starting towards the new season," said Roeder."I desperately wanted to be at Birmingham last season and I suffered agony watching (West Ham's relegation) unfold in front of me when I was on my own at home.

"But I've been overwhelmed by the response from people around the world. I had about 1,000 cards and not all were from people in football."

The first-team coach, Paul Goddard, who assisted Trevor Brooking when he took temporary charge for the last three matches, two wins and a draw, said: "Glenn's in fine fettle. I'm just really pleased to have him back and looking so well, fully recovered."

Midfielder Michael Carrick was similarly upbeat. "It's great to have him back; he's as good as new."

Birmingham City have completed negotiations to sign David Dunn. They will pay Blackburn £5.5 million for the 23-year-old England midfielder.

Celtic and Republic of Ireland midfielder Colin Healy looks likely to become David O'Leary's first signing for Aston Villa.

Chelsea's on-loan midfielder Enrique de Lucas has returned to Spanish club Alaves after his agreement expired. De Lucas left Espanyol to join the Blues last summer.

Guardian Service