Sheffield Wednesday: Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle fined after clash in Preston North End's defeat to Owls
Strikers Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle have apologised '˜wholeheartedly' after being sent off against Sheffield Wednesday for fighting each other.
The two strikers, who were brought on as second half substitutes, squared up near the end of Preston’s 2-1 loss at Sheffield Wednesday as they pressed hard for an qualiser.
Beckford and Doyle have both been fined by the Lancashire club, who have confirmed supporters who travelled to Hillsborough will be refunded for their tickets with the club fines for both players.
A club statement, released on behalf of the players, read: “We apologise wholeheartedly for our actions at Hillsborough.
“Our behaviour was not acceptable in any walk of life, let alone on a football pitch.
“We let down the management, our team-mates and most importantly the supporters, who had spent a lot of money to support the team.
“We accept the punishment given to us by the club and The FA and fully support the club’s decision to refund the ticket costs to the supporters.
“We have apologised to the manager, the staff and our team-mates and hope that the supporters accept our total remorse for the incident.
“It is our intention to now put this behind us and to give our all for the benefit of Preston North End going forward.”
Goals from Fernando Forestieri and Steven Fletcher secured the three points for the Owls, with Doyle registering before his altercation with Beckford.
Preston say they have held an internal inquiry and do not intend on appealing the red cards issued to Beckford and Doyle.
In a statement, Preston said: “On top of the punishment they will receive from the FA for their sendings off, they have also been fined by the club for their actions.
“These fines will be used to repay all Preston North End supporters who attended the trip to Hillsborough the cost of their ticket money back.”
Preston said fans could collect their refund from the club ticket office from tomorrow onwards.
The statement added: “Those supporters who paid on the day must provide their match ticket in order to receive a refund. For all refunds, the repayment will be made to the person who paid for the ticket.
“The players today also issued a public apology to the management, their teammates and the supporters for their actions.”
Lilywhites boss Simon Grayson branded the fight between Doyle and Beckford an “absolute embarrassment”.
“I’ve been in the game for 30 years playing and managing and I’ve never been involved with anything like that,” he said.
“It has been made very clear to the players and the squad as a whole that this behaviour is not acceptable by any employee of Preston North End and a swift and strong response was important, however, it has now been dealt with and the matter is closed.”