Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Monday, 10 November 2008

Club fines 'handcuff' footballer

David Norris
The club said Norris regretted that his actions had been misinterpreted

A footballer who made a crossed hands "handcuff" gesture to celebrate a goal has been fined by his club.

David Norris, who plays for Ipswich Town, said his action was not intended to support his friend Luke McCormick.

The gesture upset the family of two boys who died in a car crash caused by ex-Plymouth goalkeeper McCormick, who was jailed for drink-driving.

An Ipswich Town spokesman said the player deeply regretted that his actions were wrongly interpreted.

Aaron Peak, 10, and Ben Peak, eight, died when McCormick drove into the car in which they were travelling on the M6 in Staffordshire in June.

Norris made the crossed hands gesture during a game against Blackpool.

The boys' mother Amanda, of Partington, Greater Manchester, said: "You don't do things like that.

"Fair enough, you're going to show your support, go to prison to see him, write him letters, make phone calls to him, but don't do things like that.

"We're trying hard not to hate Luke McCormick at the moment, but people like David Norris are making it very difficult to do that."

'Totally inappropriate'

An Ipswich Town statement read: "David deeply regrets that his actions have been wrongly interpreted and has written a personal and private letter of regret to Mr and Mrs Peak.

"In hearing the player's explanation, the club also regrets the potential for misinterpretation of the gesture and would love to make a donation to an appropriate charity, equal to the fine imposed on the players."

A Football Association spokesman said: "We are aware of the incident and have written to Ipswich to seek an explanation from David Norris for his actions and await his response."

The Professional Footballers' Association has condemned the actions and its spokesman Gordon Taylor said it was probably done in ignorance rather than maliciously.

"It's totally inappropriate and I'm extremely sorry that he did that," he said.

"I am sure he is sorry too and my apologies would go the family of Mrs Peak who lost two sons.

"In fairness to the lad, he could not have realised the consequence of his actions."

Carl Day, acting chair of the Ipswich Town Supporters Trust, said Norris's actions could never be condoned, but that the club's punishment was apt and banning the player would serve no purpose.

"They haven't sat back and taken it lightly. If the player was banned he would still be paid, although the team would be weakened.

"A fine will hit the guy's pocket as well as the public humiliation that he's had."

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