Furious: Darren Bent
England striker DarrenBent was furious after hismother, Shirley, said she hadbeen racially abused beforeSunderland's 1-0 defeat at Wigan yesterday.
A Sunderland fan is alleged tobe the offender, giving rise tofears that Bent may evendemand a transfer.
Bent saidon Twitter that the incidentwas an 'absolute disgrace' andwarned: 'I won't stand for that.'
A Sunderland spokesmansaid: 'Behaviour of this kind istotally unacceptable to ourfootball club.'
Shirley Bent is understood tohave stayed at the match andspoke with her son afterwards.
Police in Greater Manchesterand Northumbria last nightlaunched an investigation.Inspector Michael Eddlestonesaid: 'Greater ManchesterPolice are investigatingreports that a woman wasracially abused at the match.'
Meanwhile, Sunderland willwork with their local police totry to find the culprit.
A Northumbria policespokesman confirmed: 'Thevictim will be interviewed byus with a view to finding theoffender.'
Greater Manchester Policeadded: 'We will use CCTVfootage or whatever isnecessary to find out whathappened and identify thealleged offender and we willbe in close contact withNorthumbria Police.
'If there is sufficientevidence against an individual,he will have to be broughtdown to Wigan MagistratesCourt to face charges becausethe offence took place here.'
Bent, 25, moved north fromSpurs in summer for a fee thatcould rise to £16.5million andplayed for England againstBrazil in Doha.
Piara Powar, a director with the Kick It Out campaign against racism in football, said: 'To go and watch your son play football and then find yourself inan environment where you are racially abused is not on,.
'It shows we still have a problem with this. The situation is far, far better than it was before but we still find these discriminatory remarks.
'This is the kind of thing that puts people off football environments. We need to make sure we are vigilant so that these kind of incidents are policed out of the game.
'Everyone from within football apologises to her, I am sure.'
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