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Sir Chris Hoy targeted in Tottenham Twitter tirade

Spurs fans confuse four-time Olympic champ with ref of yesterday's defeat to Stoke City...

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy has revealed that he has learnt some choice new words on Twitter over the past 24 hours after fans of Tottenham Hotspur got him mixed up with referee Chris Foy, who officiated at their team's 2-1 defeat away to Stoke City in the FA Premier League yesterday afternoon.

Mr Foy’s performance was, to put it mildly, a shocker – after the match, even Arsenal fans managed to break off from laughing at their North London rivals’ misfortune for long enough to post to Twitter agreeing that a series of dubious decisions had helped sway the match in favour of the home team.

Spurs fans, evidently, were too busy seeking out the referee himself on the social network, with a tirade of abuse heaped on the Scottish cyclist, whose Twitter account is under the name @chrishoy – close enough when the red, or perhaps more appropriately, lilywhite, mist has descended over your eyes.

Hoy took it all in good humour, tweeting yesterday evening: “Just for the record 1) I don't need glasses and 2) I do not lead a double life as an English premiere league ref. That's Chris Foy.”

The torrent of abuse apparently continued unabated, however, with the man who is targeting a repeat of his 2008 three gold medal haul in London next year, tweeting today: “Still getting some rather amusing grief from Spurs fans! On the plus side I've learned some new 4 letter words today.”

The hashtag to that post, #FoyNotHoy, was seized upon by cycling fans as well as those of Arsenal, and became a trending topic on Twitter in the UK.

But there could be mixed feelings for another Beijing gold medal-winning cyclist if the tongue-in-cheek tweet from another supporter of the Gunners turned out instead to be true.

R_Gooner wrote: “Spurs fans not only protesting about the Olympic Stadium. Now they're threatening to burn down the velodrome.”

If carried through, that’s bad news for Arsenal (and Cardiff) fan Geraint Thomas - it would deprive him of the venue where he is looking to help Great Britain retain the team pursuit title he helped them win at Beijing three years ago.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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