Rio Ferdinand thanks Wolves fans as Jamie Arnold is convicted of racially abusing him at Molineux

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Rio Ferdinand has spoken out as Wolves fan Jamie Arnold was found guilty of racially abusing him at a Premier League game at Molineux

Football icon Rio Ferdinand has reacted to the guilty verdict given at Wolverhampton Crown Court to racial abuser Jamie Arnold yesterday (Wednesday, November 1).

Arnold, 33, from Stone, Staffordshire, was found guilty of racially aggravated harassment after being caught on camera making inappropriate gestures at the TV pundit at the Wolves v Manchester United game in 2021.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In an emotional statement on X after appearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday to witness the verdict on Arnold, Ferdinand thanked Wolves fans who gave evidence in the trial for their support and praised Police Constable Stuart Ward, the UK’s first football hate crime officer, for his leading role in the investigation.

Jamie Arnold convicted of racially abusing Rio Ferdinand at Molineux outside Wolverhampton Crown CourtJamie Arnold convicted of racially abusing Rio Ferdinand at Molineux outside Wolverhampton Crown Court
Jamie Arnold convicted of racially abusing Rio Ferdinand at Molineux outside Wolverhampton Crown Court | Express and Star

Following the successful conviction, Rio said: "I’ve been involved in a court case at Wolverhampton since May 2021, today the guy who racially abused me has been found guilty and will now have to face consequences for his actions. Racism will only be eradicated when we all work together as a society."

"The prosecution wouldn’t have been possible without all the help/support from the witnesses, and Wolves fans and staff that came forward to testify in court. Special thank you to Police Constable Stuart Ward (Football Hate Crime Officer), my family and my team at New Era!"

Rio Ferdinand outside Wolverhampton Crown CourtRio Ferdinand outside Wolverhampton Crown Court
Rio Ferdinand outside Wolverhampton Crown Court | Express and Star

At the time of the conviction, PC Stuart Ward said: "Arnold is old enough to know such appalling behaviour is inexcusable and certainly won’t be tolerated.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I know from personal experience how being a victim of racism hurts while offenders risk their own aspirations through getting a criminal record. I would like to thank Rio for his assistance in this investigation. Through his support we’ve ensured a man has this conviction to his name."

PC Stuart Ward, West Midlands Police Football Hate Crime OfficerPC Stuart Ward, West Midlands Police Football Hate Crime Officer
PC Stuart Ward, West Midlands Police Football Hate Crime Officer | Express and Star

In 2021, PC Ward was credited with becoming the first dedicated hate crime officer based in a football unit. The role includes investigating complaints of hate crimes linked to football, monitoring online interactions and working with the region’s club.

Arnold had previously been banned from games for three years after being found guilty of hurling homophobic abuse at the referee Mike Dean and making gestures which mimicked disability during the same game. He was also ordered to pay almost £900 in fines and court costs.

Rio gave evidence at Wolverhampton Crown Court at the first two trials against Arnold, where he told the court that "banter was normal" but that he had noticed Arnold had become fixated.

Several Wolves fans who were near Arnold at the time, also gave evidence for prosecution. Arnold was bailed and will return for sentencing on Friday, December 8.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.