A Skelmersdale United youth coach has been charged by the County FA for leading his players off the pitch amid allegations of homophobic abuse.

Darren Wildman, Head of Academy at Skelmersdale, was charged with breaching an improper conduct charge and FA Rule E3 had been broken.

It follows an incident in a recent North West Youth Alliance game in which he says one of his players was a victim of homophobic comments.

A club statement reveals that Wildman and other members of his team were subjected to homophobic abuse.

He faces a touchline ban as well as a fine. The club has appealed the charge.

Wildman’s side were winning before the alleged abuse which he says spilled onto the sidelines leading to his decision to lead his players off.

The Liverpool County Football Association have not released a statement.

Wildman said on Twitter: “County FA has punished me for standing up to unacceptable homophobic abuse on a football pitch. Let that sink in.”

A Liverpool County FA spokesperson said: “The County FA is committed to tackling abuse and discriminatory behaviour and strongly condemns any actions of this nature.

“All reported allegations are investigated in accordance with FA’s rules and regulations as well as the relevant authorities.

“As part of that process, we are not in a position to comment on individual cases which are ongoing or subject to appeal.”

Coaches and supporters of  grassroots football in the region have aired their support for Wildman.

He has asked anyone offering donations to make them to Stonewall UK and Kick It Out.