Youth team coach suspended

  • by Staff Writer
  • Tuesday, 16th October 2018

West Ham United have suspended Under 18s coach Mark Phillips after it was revealed that he took part in a march organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance.

A story in this morning's Guardian revealed that life-long Hammers fan Phillips had attended the weekend protest in London along with approximately 1,500 other football fans from around the country.

And as a result, the club this afternoon confirmed that they had suspended the Camberwell-born coach from all club activities with immediate effect.

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The FLA was founded in 2017 as a "anti extremist movement" and is usually referred to by the media as a right-wing organisation, although it has also been involved with an appeal for the homeless.

The DFLA, an offshoot of the FLA was formed earlier this year following internal disagreements regarding policy and adopted the slogan "against all extremism".

The UEFA-qualified Phillips, 58, first attended a game at the Boleyn Ground in 1970 and is a regular at away matches. He has been employed by West Ham for nearly ten years, four as a full time Academy coach.

"It's a dream of mine to work at the Academy," he said in a recent interview. "I get a huge sense of pride from it. It's a very emotional feeling when you see a player you coached play for the West Ham first team.

"It's even that bit more special when they're West Ham fans themselves. Every player here will tell you that I'm biased toward them instinctively. In sessions, I'll always pass to a West Ham fan first; they always get the ball first!"

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