Police investigate allegations of racial abuse via Twitter towards Newcastle's Perch

The Magpies defender was subjected to insults by a Liverpool fan after allegedly overreacting to get Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina sent off during their 2-0 victory on Sunday

Police have launched an investigation following alleged racial abuse aimed towards Newcastle United's James Perch.

The Magpies defender was targeted after after allegedly playing up contact with Pepe Reina to get the Liverpool goalkeeper sent off during their 2-0 victory on Sunday.

A Twitter user, believed to be a 17-year-old Liverpool fan, tweeted: "I want to punch perch in his n***** head!"

Other users immediately informed the police, reminding the fan about Liam Stacey, who was jailed for 56 days after abusing Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba following his collapse during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur.

A County Durham police spokesman said: "Northumbria Police contacted us yesterday afternoon after a member of the public complained about allegedly racist comments posted on Twitter.

"As the complainant lives in County Durham the matter was referred to Durham Constabulary and an appointment has been made for an officer to visit them and take further details."