CHILDREN at a Worcestershire primary school are pleading with Worcester Wolves chairman Roger Clarke to give them back their heroes.

Six players from the basketball club were sacked earlier this month after they threatened to strike over alleged ‘racist’ abuse from then head coach Chuck Evans, who has since resigned.

Former player-coach Skouson Harker, Evaldas Zabas, Nerijus Kalikonavas, Vidmantas Uzkuratitis, who later withdrew his intention to strike, Chey Christie and Randy George had their playing contracts terminated by the British Basketball League (BBL) club after proposing strike action.

And now the children at Ashton-under-Hill Primary School, near Evesham, have written letters to Wolves supremo Mr Clarke asking him to reinstate the players.

Both Mr Harker and Mr Uzkuratitis held a weekly coaching session at the school as part of the BBL initiative Hoops4Health.

Headteacher Bryony Baynes has written to Mr Clarke on two occasions as well as the chairman of the BBL, Paul Blake.

“The children adored Vid and coach (Harker),” said Mrs Baynes.

“I have written to Mr Clarke twice and on my desk are the letters the children have written asking Mr Clarke to reinstate the players.

“It is outrageous to think that they have been sacked for standing up for themselves.”

Five of the six sacked players have sought legal advice following their dismissal from the basketball club.

But Mr Clarke is adamant that the club followed the correct procedures in disciplining Mr Evans and the players.

“Chuck was taken through the disciplinary procedure where he was given a written warning and warned that any repeat would have resulted in the termination of his contract,” said Mr Clarke.

“The players had a collective disciplinary meeting as they refused to play after initially agreeing to play.

“They were withdrawing their labour and we were left with little option.”

The University of Worcester, where the Wolves play all their home matches, said that it would continue to support players, such as Uzkuratitis, who remain students.

A spokeswoman said: “Worcester Wolves operate independently of the university. The university is a sponsor and hosts the club’s home games.

“Our acclaimed Learning Through Sport work is carried out in association with the club and we are proud of the contribution that this has made to improving the education and aspirations of many children.

“Those former Wolves players who are students of the university will continue to receive full support in their studies and community work.”