A POLICE investigation has been launched after a Newcastle United player was racially abused on Twitter.
Officers were contacted when defender James Perch was targeted yesterday after a clash with Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina ended with the Spaniard receiving a red card during his side's 2-0 defeat.
A Twitter user, believed to be a 17-year-old Liverpool fan who works at a supermarket, tweeted: "I want to punch perch in his n****r head!"
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The tweet ended by calling the Newcastle defender a c***.
Other Twitter users immediately rounded on the abuser, telling him police would be informed, and reminding the writer about what happened to student Liam Stacey, who was jailed for abusing the Bolton player Fabrice Muamba.
Stacey, 21, was jailed for 56 days after he admitted inciting racial hatred over remarks about the midfielder, who at the time was critically ill following his collapse during a FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur.
A call about the abuse Perch received was made to Northumbria Police, but because the complainant was from County Durham, officers from that force will take up the issue.
A Durham Police spokesman said: "Northumbria Police contacted us yesterday afternoon after a member of the public complained about allegedly racist comments posted on Twitter.
"As the complainant lives in County Durham the matter was referred to Durham Constabulary and an appointment has been made for an officer to visit them and take further details.
Last month a student who abused football pundit Stan Collymore was ordered to carry out 240 hours unpaid work.
Joshua Cryer, 21, from Jesmond, Newcastle, had set out to provoke a reaction from the former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker and used a racial insult, Newcastle Magistrates heard.