Malicious letters to town player
POLICE are investigating threatening hate mail sent to Ipswich Town star Marcus Bent, it has emerged. The 24-year-old striker, who joined the club for £3 million in November 2001, received the "malicious" letters in December last year.
POLICE are investigating threatening hate mail sent to Ipswich Town star Marcus Bent, it has emerged.
The 24-year-old striker, who joined the club for £3 million in November 2001, received the "malicious" letters in December last year.
Detectives launched a probe into the hate mail and have spent four months trying to find its sender.
Suffolk police confirmed they received a complaint from Ipswich Town and were investigating the "malicious communication".
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They would not confirm the identity of the victim or whether the letters, delivered to Portman Road on December 19 and 20, were motivated by race.
Bent, who has scored 10 goals in an injury-hit season, is one of Ipswich Town's most valuable players and has been linked with transfers to Premiership clubs.
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The former England under-21 international has attracted criticism for his performances this season from some sections of the Portman Road crowd.
Earlier this campaign, Bent and his Town team-mate Finidi George were subjected to racist abuse from opposition supporters during a European tie in Yugoslavia.
The duo complained of threatening chants and actions while playing in the Blues' UEFA Cup game in Smederevo against Sartid.
Bent said after the match: "It was very upsetting – you could hear them doing the monkey chants and I was spat on a few times."
The Hammersmith-born striker began his career with Brentford and has also played for Crystal Palace, Port Vale, Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers.
He scored 10 goals for Ipswich last season, making him joint top goalscorer, but could not prevent the club being relegated from the Premiership.
Bent turned down a loan move to top-flight side Birmingham City earlier this season, opting to stay and help the Blues' push for promotion.
Officials at Ipswich Town were unavailable for comment about the hate mail last night.