Second police probe for banned Thatcher

September 7, 2006

Manchester City defender Ben Thatcher is facing a second police inquiry, it was confirmed today.

The Wales international already faces questions from Greater Manchester Police after they received complaints from the public over his challenge on Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes on August 23.

And Thatcher, who was banned for six games by City for the challenge which left Mendes unconscious, is now also being investigated over an incident during a reserve game earlier this year.

Ralph Welch, a 19-year-old who was playing for Rovers reserves, has complained that he was elbowed in the face by Thatcher, 30, during a match at Christie Park, Morecambe in February.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: 'We have had correspondence from Merseyside Police and we are investigating the matter.'

As well as being suspended by City, Thatcher was also fined £120,000 by his club after videofootage showed him smash Mendes in the face with his elbow during the home match against Portsmouth.

He has since apologised to the Portuguese player, who spent a night in hospital after the incident.

Thatcher also faces a Football Association disciplinary hearing on September 12.