“We had a home game on the Monday night [following the walk-off] and I went out to my car after the match and someone had written n***** on my bonnet.”

That’s Jonty Boon, the head coach of Ipswich Wanderers under-18s who removed his players from the pitch after one of them alleged racial abuse during a match last month.

At the time, he was told the player in question had “overreacted to banter”.

“I was in disbelief. He wouldn’t have reacted in that way [if he was lying],” said Jonty.

The incident is now being investigated by the Suffolk FA but Jonty admits it will be difficult to prove guilt, as it’s one word against another.

It’s a problem faced by many victims of abuse at grassroots level. Unlike the professional game, there are no TV cameras and CCTV, both of which are often crucial for obtaining convictions.

Worse still for Jonty, in the aftermath, the player, who does not want to be named publicly, told him he no longer wanted to play football.

Fortunately, after reconsidering, he has since changed his mind.

Jonty said: “He says he wants to move on from it. We were talking last night and he said every time at the moment you turn the radio or sports channels on there’s another incident.

“I haven’t seen anything like it for a long time.”

To add insult to injury, last Thursday the team’s kit and equipment, totalling £1200 in value, was stolen from the boot of Jonty’s car after training.

When Kick It Out were made aware of what happened, the organisation contacted sportswear company Mitre to see if they could help. Mitre have since offered to replace the stolen equipment completely free of charge.

Kick It Out were made aware of the original incident when our Head of Development, Troy Townsend, was invited to appear on BBC News alongside Jonty and his son, Ethan, who plays for Ipswich Wanderers.

After the show, Troy offered support to the club, Jonty and the player.

“We’re lucky there are associations like Kick It Out who fight for people,” said Jonty.

“Troy was fantastic. I spoke to him a couple of times - he offered his support to the player and said if he needed to talk to him he could. He said he’s always here to speak to.”

The organisation sent our campaign t-shirts to the club’s under-18s and senior team to wear during their warm-ups as a show of solidarity with their team mate, and the campaign to rid football of all forms of discrimination. Additionally, Kick It Out’s logo will be printed on the team’s new kit.

Ipswich Town also invited the team for a meet and greet with their players, as well as welcoming them to their dedicated Kick It Out match against Birmingham City, which took place on Saturday April 13.

“Ipswich Town have been fantastic,” Jonty added.

The issue of sanctions for racism in grassroots football came under the spotlight last week when it emerged Padiham FC of the North West Counties Football League had been fined after their players   walked off during a match against Congleton Town last October in response to racist insults from members of the crowd.

Their opponents were hit with a fine for the abuse, but it was less than the amount Padiham were forced to pay.

Kick It Out trustee, Garth Crooks, has since paid the bill as a gesture of solidarity and support.

“If I was to get fined more than the club who have committed the offence I would stop coaching. If that’s the case, that’s it for me,” Jonty, who has been coaching for 10 years, said.

“I love football and I love coaching. I have found it really rewarding over the last decade. I have suffered with mental health issues over the last decade, coaching is one thing that’s kept me going.”

He added: “The disturbing thing now is all I seem to see on the internet is racial abuse on the pitch. It seems to have escalated out of control. It is absolutely the Wild West out there.”