Andrew Cole was allegedly the target of racism on Aer Lingus flight to Manchester
Andrew Cole was the target of racism on Aer Lingus flight to Manchester in December Reuters

A man has been jailed after he admitted racially abusing former Manchester United striker Andy Cole.

Lee Bryne was was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison and ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge at Manchester's Minshull Street crown court.

His friend, Gregory Horan, who was with Bryne at the time of the incident and wore a blonde wig outside court, was handed a 10-week prison sentence for being drunk on the plane.

The pair had smuggled a bottle of rum on board the Aer Lingus flight to Manchester from Dublin before Bryne abused Cole, calling him "Mr Blackman".

The ex-Premier League ace, who is second to only Alan Shearer in the league's all-time goalscoring chart after netting 187 times, tried to deflect the racist taunts made by 28-year-old Bryne but was left angry and hurt by the outburst.

Bryne and Horan were arrested and charged after the plane had landed.

Following the incident, which took place on 29 December, Cole took to Twitter to thank his followers for their support.