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27th Dec 2015

VIDEO: Leyton Orient’s President insists that kicking his coach was ‘just banter’

'Very much in good humour'

Simon Lloyd

After a strange incident at Leyton Orient’s game with Portsmouth on Boxing Day, some would have been forgiven for thinking that the whole ‘good will to all men’ thing had gone right out of the window.

Cameras captured the moment that Orient’s club president, Francesco Becchetti, kicked assistant manager Andy Hessenthaler.

After the game, the club played down the incident – suggesting that there was no bad blood between the pair in a brief statement.

‘Mr Becchetti and Mr Hessenthaler would like to clarify the reports in the media following the Boxing Day game.

‘The event reported in the media was very much in good humour for both the president and assistant manager and part of an ongoing and good natured exchange between the two over the past few weeks.

‘There was absolutely nothing untoward about the exchange and the two men get along very well professionally on the pitch and personally off the pitch.

‘Mr Becchetti and Mr Hessenthaler were extremely pleased with the result of the game and were celebrating a very well deserved and exciting win.’

Hessenthaler was also quick to dismiss the incident as nothing more than a bit of fun.

“It’s a little bit of banter – a bit of stuff that’s been going on for the last few weeks between us and probably looked worse than it was.

“He’s a passionate guy and we all are. We’re all desperate to win. It was a little bit of fun and games at the end. He was getting involved and we’ve got to concentrate on what we were doing.”

Thank goodness for that.