A PROMISING young footballer had three teeth knocked out when he was the victim of an alleged racially motivated attack after a match.

Seventeen-year-old Samuel Gibson, who is of mixed race, was punched in the face after a six-a-side soccer game in Sutton.

The A-level student allegedly suffered racial abuse and claims that after the sickening assault opposition players cruelly taunted him saying: “Pick your teeth up off the floor!”

Samuel, who has had trials with Manchester United and Leeds, told the Star: “At the end of the match I was about to shake hands with a member of the other team when I was punched from behind in the mouth, at first I was angry, but then I realised what a mess my mouth was in.

“His friends gathered round and said ‘Pick your teeth up off the floor’ and laughed. He had knocked three of my front teeth out and the blood was gushing from my mouth.

“The referee, who was standing right by me, said he hadn’t seen anything.”

Samuel, who was playing for Sutton FC Officials in an organised league event, had spent the majority of the match in net but later scored three goals after changing position.

He added: “I told their players ‘That’s how its done lads’ and was just having a bit of banter but it really wound one of their players up.

“He started making bad tackles on me, and even said to me ‘You shouldn’t even be in this country anyway’.”

Samuel says the abuse escalated and one of his own team-mates was sent off for complaining to the referee.

His team triumphed 7-3 but following the final whistle Samuel alleges he was subjected to a cruel attack.

Two of his teeth were recovered at the scene but dentists have been unable to save them because the nerves died.

Samuel has suffered gum damage, is in constant pain and cannot eat solid foods.

His mother Stephanie, 34, from Sutton Leach, said: “This isn’t the first time my son has had to put up with racism, but it is the first time it has got physical.

“The two teeth they managed to save will die and he faces painful surgery to have teeth implants fitted.

“His dad and I are devastated that this was allowed to happen.”

A police statement read: “Merseyside Police can confirm it is investigating allegations of racial abuse as well as an incident of assault during a football match played at sports pitches at Sutton High School. The 17-year-old victim had been playing in a Leisure League game.

“At the end of the match he was punched in the face by a player from the opposing team in an unprovoked attack. He suffered damage to his teeth and bruising to his face.

“The police were called to the victim’s home by a relative the following day and officers are in the process of identifying everyone who was at the football pitch when the incident happened so that they can be spoken to.

“Officers are also investigating allegations that racially abusive language was directed at the victim during the same game.

“Anyone with information is asked to call the St Helens hate crime investigation unit on 0151 777 6063.”