Steven Nzonzi Named in Police Hunt Following Cyclist Hit and Run

Ben Blackmore@@Blackmore_BRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2013

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10:  Steven Nzonzi of Stoke during a Pre Season Friendly between Stoke City and Genoa at Britannia Stadium on August 10, 2013 in Stoke, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Stoke City's Steven Nzonzi has been named by Chris Wheeler and Martin Robinson of the Daily Mail as the Premier League footballer police wish to track down in conjunction with a roadside collision with a cyclist.

Nzonzi, who is currently preparing for Stoke’s Saturday encounter with Manchester City, is alleged to have caused cyclist Rob Lockhart a concussion, before laughing at him as he drove away.

Wheeler and Robinson provide the details:

The incident has led to an amazing Twitter campaign backed by Sir Chris Hoy to identify the player, who is alleged to have laughed at the cyclist and told him “good luck finding me on foreign plates” before driving away from the accident in his luxury car last week.

At 24 years of age, Nzonzi is tipped for a big future in the game having represented France at U21 level.

He was named Stoke City’s Young Player of the Year last season and recently turned in a man-of-the-match display in the Potters’ victory over West Ham.

According to 101 Great Goals, a friend of Lockhart’s took a picture the car and posted it on Facebook and Twitter, helping them to identify the man in question.

Sarah Barth of Road.cc confirmed social media’s part in the process:

The driver of the vehicle—a matt black Audi Q7 with the registration number AY-248-KT, also bearing the Department code 95 (Val d’Oise to the north west of Paris in the Ile-de-France region) was widely identified, including by people living or working nearby who recognised both the vehicle and its owner.

Nzonzi, per the Daily Mail, is the man believed to have been driving the Audi, although the incident remains nothing more than an allegation at this stage.

Mr Lockhart described how the crash took place, claiming the Stoke man drove erratically, before brushing aside the threat of any consequence from the incident.

Wheeler and Robinson provide Mr Lockhart’s quotes:

He pulled away and then pulled over sharply to park on double yellow lines outside a cash point. It was dangerous. I hit the back window with my head, helmet and face. I had mild concussion for two to three days afterwards.

He got out of his car and said, “Sorry, I didn’t see you”. Then he just walked to the cashpoint … He didn’t seem to care. 

When he walked back to his car I said we need to exchange insurance details and he said “No”. He said, “You’re on a bike and I’m in a car, it doesn’t matter”.

I tried to get my phone out to take a picture and he laughed and said, “You won’t trace me because my plates are foreign”. He then left the scene.

A combative player on the pitch, Nzonzi has a relatively clean disciplinary record, sent off only twice in his career, although he did receive 10 cautions across the 2012/13 campaign.

Wheeler and Robinson claim the 6'4" midfielder has been advised by lawyers to hold his silence over the allegations, while Stoke are also yet to offer official comment.