Mark Robins branded ‘disgusting’ for celebrating Coventry winner in front of 13-year-old ball boy

Robins celebration in front of ball boy
Robins apologised for this celebration towards a 13-year-old who had delayed returning the ball

Coventry City manager Mark Robins issued an apology for what was branded “disgraceful” behaviour after celebrating in front of a 13-year-old ball boy at the end of their dramatic FA Cup quarter-final victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

United States international Haji Wright scored a 99th-minute winner for the Championship club to knock out their Premier League opponents, despite entering time-added-on trailing 2-1.

Seconds before the winning goal, Coventry defender Jake Bidwell was seen gesticulating towards the same ball boy as he attempted to retrieve the ball, with Robins stood nearby in his side’s technical area.

Bidwell restarted play with a throw-in soon after that led to Wright’s match-winning moment, and TV replays captured wild scenes during which Robins celebrated the goal by running towards the ball boy and raising his fist in front of him while shouting.

Robins admitted to the actions as soon as he came into his press conference, but faced harsh criticism from opposite number Gary O’Neil when the Wolves manager had his turn in front of the media afterwards.

Coventry celebrate their stunning FA Cup victory
Jubilant scenes show what victory means for Coventry - Getty Images/Marc Atkins

“I wasn’t aware of it until afterwards,” O’Neil said. “I was disappointed, I waited for Mark downstairs and spoke to him because I was really respectful at the end, having lost a massive game, waited for them to finish their celebrations, shook everyone’s hands, congratulated them on a real good performance, reaching Wembley and what a fantastic achievement it was.

“And he apologised, to celebrate in a young boy’s face like that I thought was disgusting, the boy is really upset. It shouldn’t happen, but too much to say about it because we have lost and it’s going to seem bitter, but I thought it was really important to speak to Mark about it because they are just kids doing a job.”

Robins immediately held his hands up. “I have an apology to make,” he said.

“Before the winner went in, the ball boy had the ball, a young kid, he has the ball in his hand, drops it and walks away smiling.

“It really annoyed me, but he’s a kid at the end of the day. I have reacted, we scored the goal and I went and celebrated in front of him. I apologise to him. I do not show emotion very often but that is what the FA Cup does to you. I apologise to him unreservedly.”

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