The Sentinel, a local newspaper available in Stoke-on-Trent, is reporting that several Port Vale players were caught urinating in Hanley’s Central Forest Park by a warden during pre-season training.
It is also alleged that the park warden was verbally abused by some of the players.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council called in Staffordshire Police after receiving a complaint from the warden and Port Vale Football Club have now been contacted by the police.
Port Vale Supporters Club chairman Pete Williams urged the club to be lenient with the offenders:
If the players have to go then they have to go.
The manager needs to have a quiet word because they shouldn’t have done it but I don’t think it needs to go any further than that.
It is very embarrassing, but with the new season coming up there are more important things to concentrate on.
However Friends of Central Forest Park chairman Paul Breeze had a slightly different view:
We are talking about professional footballers. I am sure some of them will be reprimanded for this.
They should show more respect.
Similar opinions were also reflected by users of the park, interviewed by The Sentinel:
Mum-of-two Maria Swift, aged 31, of Sneyd Green, said:
I think it is disgusting. It would be bad enough if this involved just a normal park-user but footballers should know better.
What sort of message does this send out to kids?
While engineer James Bolton, aged 33, also of Sneyd Green, added:
It is not very good when there are children in the park.
I am glad this matter has been reported.