Blackpool's Brabin on bail after 'assault'

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Brentford Football Club were last night refusing to comment on an after-match incident involving their captain, Jamie Bates, and the Blackpool defender Gary Brabin.

Bates, 28, was taken to West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth after allegedly being struck on the back of the neck in the players' tunnel after a 1- 1 draw on Saturday which saw the Bees remain at the top of the Second Division. Brabin was later led from the team coach and taken to Chiswick police station. He was accompanied by the Blackpool chairman, Vicki Oyston, and director of football, Billy Bingham MBE.

A Brentford spokesperson said yesterday: "There will be no further statement from the club, at least until the start of the week when we can review the situation."

Inspector Ray Baker, of Chiswick police, was called to the Brentford dressing room immediately after the incident. Baker said: "As a result of what I was told, and because the incident occurred off the field of play, a player was arrested and taken to Chiswick police station.

"The nature of the assault and the condition of the victim was such that I needed to take that action at the time."

Brabin, 25, signed for Blackpool for pounds 200,000 from Bury in the summer but missed the start of the season through suspension. Playing only his sixth game for the club, Brabin was released on police bail on Saturday night.