Arrests made over death threats to Oldham Atheltic boss
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Arrests made over death threats to Oldham Atheltic boss

TWO men have been arrested over death threats sent to Oldham Athletic manager Darren Kelly. 

The Derry native was one of the targets of the threats made in a letter received by the League One club shortly after 9.05am on Monday, May 11.

The incident was reported to Greater Manchester Police, who have since arrested two men, aged 27 and 42, on suspicion of making threats to kill.

Detective Inspector Jason Byrne said: “The letter sent to the club made some extremely serious threats to a number of individuals and we are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness.

“We are also aware of equally vitriolic comments that have been made on social media and this too forms part of our investigation.”

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A third person thought to be connected with the incident is also being sought by officers.

Mr Kelly, 35, was appointed as manager at Oldham Athletic FC last week.

The former Northern Ireland U21 defender faced an instant reaction from fans,  due to a tweet he posted on February 18.

The tweet referred to Sinn Fein politician and Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who he called a “#legend” after Mr McGuinness retweeted a photo of himself meeting Kelly’s mother at an event marking the 43rd anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Derry.

The Oldham Athletic boss’s uncle was killed by the British Army in 1972 Troubles massacre.

This week the club issued a statement regarding the alleged death threats, claiming: "Oldham Athletic AFC are aware of threats made against individuals concerned with the club. These matters have been passed to the police and the club will be making no further comments on this subject.”

Oldham Athletic chief executive Simon Corney has offered to refund any season tickets to supporters disappointed by Mr Kelly’s appointment.

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Responding to the initial controversy surrounding his new role, Mr Kelly said: “It has been blown out of proportion. There is nothing in it whatsoever. I have deleted Twitter, though not on the back of that.”

As it stands, he remains the manager of Oldham Athletic, succeeding previous boss Lee Johnson who left for Barnsley in February.

The two men arrested regarding the death threats have since been released on bail. They will return to court on June 15.

Anyone with  information regarding the incident should contact Greater Manchester Police on 0161 856 2220 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111