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Teenager at centre of Danny Coles Twitter storm says 'it's time to move on' after Exeter City defender is sacked as captain

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: July 13, 2014

By Tom Bevan

  • Will Wenley, left, and Danny Coles

  • Will Wenley, left, and former Exeter City captain Danny Coles

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THE 14-year-old schoolboy at the centre of the Danny Coles’ Twitter storm has said it is time to move on after the player was sacked as Exeter City captain.

Will Wenley said he had accepted Coles’ personal apology following the unpleasant exchange on social media.

But the club conducted an internal investigation into the matter and following a disciplinary hearing last week they have made the decision to remove Coles as club captain, place him on the transfer list and fine him two weeks’ wages.

He got into trouble last month when he sent an abusive tweet to schoolboy Will who had mocked his performances for City.

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In response to the club’s actions, Will, a season ticket holder at St James Park, said:”I have received a nice letter of apology from Mr Coles which was absolutely fine and should be the end of the matter as far as I'm concerned.

“The punishment the club has handed out is between Mr Coles and Exeter City; however I believe other problems in the past will have contributed to the strength of the punishment issued.

“Either way it will work as a good pointer with regards to younger players and social media. Perhaps everyone can move on from this issue now and concentrate on a successful season.”

A statement from the club, said: “Following a disciplinary hearing on Monday, July 7, regarding his recent comments on social media, Danny Coles has been removed from his position as club captain and has been placed on the transfer list. He has also been fined two weeks wages.

“Exeter City will not tolerate abuse of anyone, in whatever form, and would like to extend its apologies to all those who were offended by Danny Coles’ behaviour on Twitter.

“At the hearing, Danny Coles again apologised for any offence taken by his comments and has written a letter of apology to the young person concerned.

“Exeter City and Danny Coles will now be focusing on pre-season training and the year ahead and will make no further comment on the matter.”

The unsavoury exchange was sparked when Coles commented on the performance of England’s Phil Jagielka during England’s World Cup match, describing the Everton defender as “a car crash waiting to happen”.

Will, who lives with his family in Pennsylvania, responded by tweeting “so like you at Exeter” to which Coles took great offence and tweeted a number of expletives directed at the fan before angry exchanges with other Exeter fans.

Speaking at the time Will said he thought it was just "banter" when he replied to Coles’ tweet.

He said: “I thought it was a massive overreaction by Danny Coles and I wasn’t expecting that reaction one bit. I just thought it was a bit of banter. I was quite shocked and I think as the captain of Exeter City he should act in a more responsible way.”

Coles’s Twitter account was subsequently been deleted and he quickly issued a full apology saying he felt “totally ashamed.”

“I would like to apologise unreservedly for my comments which appeared on Twitter,” he said. “I am not going to make any excuses, nor plead any mitigating circumstances: my behaviour was completely inappropriate and I am totally ashamed of my actions.

“As the captain of Exeter City FC, I know I should set a good example to the supporters, the players and the wider football community and in breaching the club’s social media guidelines I have let everyone down and embarrassed myself and the club, which prides itself on its family values.

“I have deleted my Twitter account and will be making sure that I impress upon the rest of the squad the importance of realising what damage ill-judged remarks on social media can do.

“Most importantly, as a family man I would be disgusted if someone spoke to one of my children in the manner I addressed a fan last night and I will be contacting the young lad directly in order to apologise personally.”

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