Exclusive: Sheffield Steelers star apologises for attack on Belfast Giants opponent

Colton Fretter goes for Belfast player Spiro Goulakos
Colton Fretter goes for Belfast player Spiro Goulakos

Colton Fretter has apologised for his “red mist” attack from behind on a rival player and has accepted his six match suspension with humility, says Sheffield Steelers and Elite League chairman Tony Smith.

Fretter has been ordered not to speak about the incident, in which he retaliated after an incident with Belfast Giants’ Spiro Goulakos with an attack later deemed a “wilful intent to injure, directly from behind” on an unsuspecting opponent.

Fretter was first suspended for a single game, but a furore developed over the sanction, an outside assessor was called in, Fretter’s ban was upgraded to six matches and the then Head of the Department of Player Safety Simon Kirkhamwas removed “with immediate effect.”

“It is fair to say Frets is annoyed with himself, he saw red mist and did something totally out of character” said Smith.

“He is a top guy, an intelligent kid and did something he knows he should not have, it was a poor judgement call.

“He was embarrassed and apologised to me, the coaching staff, the players and the fans.

“He accepts the initial one-game ban was an insult to the League and will now sit out his time with acceptance, quietly. That is him to a tee.

“We are not going to moan and groan about it, we’ll just wait for Frets - he was pretty badly beaten up - to come back flying in the Continental Cup (November 17.)

“He isn’t going to appeal and we aren’t taking any further action. The six game punishment was enough.”

Fretter, 35, was a spectator at Sunday’s 6-0 win over Braehead Clan, where home fans sang his name.

FACT SPOT: Fretter has only received two major penalties for Steelers, both this year against Belfast, according to steelers-stats.com. Last year he took nine penalty minutes against Belfast and fought Jim Vandermeer.

Fretter, in 182 games, has sat out 191 minutes.

*Meanwhile, The Star understands Steelers are considering their first ever five-year contract as a tenant with Sheffield Arena.

Smith said: “There are some very sensible heads in charge of SIV (Sheffield International Venues) and they understand our side of it - what business needs we have to thrive and re-invest in different areas.”

The length of the possible new contract suggests a stability in the club that was clearly lacking in previous ownerships.

Steelers want to improve their video screen and improve merchandising at the 26-year-old building.

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