A spokesman for the Northumbria Police force told Telegraph Sport today: 'At 6.50pm on Monday, November 30, Northumbria Police arrested a 26-year-old man from Chester-le-Street on behalf of Greater Manchester Police on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment in Wigan on Saturday, November 28. The man has been bailed by the police until January 12.'
Related ArticlesPolice investigate Bent racism claimWigan Athletic 1 Sunderland 0Racist Sunderland fan insults Bent's motherBent, Sunderland's £10 million record signing, revealed that his mother had been racially abused on his Twitter internet website with a brief message posted shortly after his team's 1-0 defeat by Roberto Martinez's side in the Premier League.
It has been claimed that the incident took place in a pub just before the game and it is understood that officials at Sunderland have helped the police traced the alleged culprit.
The England international wrote about the incident on his Twitter page, saying: 'So we get beat by Wigan and to make matters worse my mum gets racially abused by a SUNDERLAND fan. I won't stand for that. It's an absolute disgrace.'
Anti-racism campaigners voiced their own concerns as bigotry reared its ugly head.
The former Sunderland player Kieron Brady, who now runs the Celebrate Identity, Challenge Intolerance group, said: 'The allegations are still being investigated, but I would hope it does not detract from the very positive image and reputation that the Sunderland fans rightly have.
'We have made great strides. When you look at how far we've come since the 1970s and 1980s, there is no comparison. It has improved. Racism, as well as discrimination of other kinds, is still a problem and we need to address that. There is still work to do."