NORTHWICH Victoria manager Steve Wilkes has been handed a seven-match stadium ban by the Football Association.

The suspension was handed down after Wilkes admitted using homophobic language towards Longridge Town player Connor Jackson during Vics’ 5-0 defeat in Lancashire in February.

Wilkes served the first two games of his ban this week, with assistant Steve Pickup taking charge for last night’s win at Wythenshawe Town and Saturday’s away victory over Irlam.

He will also miss Vics’ final game of this season against Barnoldswick Town on Saturday and the first four matches of their 2022-23 campaign.

Jackson himself has been hit with a nine-match ban for an incident in the same game after being charged with grabbing and squeezing the testicles of Vics players Matthew Clarke and Christian Mather.

As stated in the FA Disciplinary Commission’s Decision and Reasons regarding the incident, Wilkes admitted to calling Jackson a “gay c***” and “queer c***” but that he used them in jest towards a player he knows outside of the game and that they were not malicious.

He went on to say that he “does not have a homophobic bone in his body” and that he is “ashamed” of what he said.

Vics chairman Brian Turner, who supported Wilkes at his hearing, confirmed the manager had offered his resignation in the wake of the incident, which was declined by the club.

Wilkes must also pay a £75 fine and complete a mandatory online education programme.