Stevenage boss Dino Maamria has responded to Lewis Hamilton’s controversial remarks at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday, after the five-time Formula 1 World Champion referred to his hometown Stevenage as “the slums”...
Since the incident Hamilton has walked back the comment and Maamria was understanding towards the star.
“I think his intentions were better than that. He was trying to say he has reached the impossible from nothing, that he came from Stevenage and he has gone to the top.
“Using words like that (slums), I think he regretted that and he has apologised for it. I think we are far from that as a town, we are a proud town.
“This town has brought up not just Lewis Hamilton, but a lot of good people. There are artists, popstars and Premier League players from Stevenage.
“Let’s not be too harsh on Lewis Hamilton, we should be proud of him and what he has achieved.”
Hamilton has been quick to say sorry for his comments already, posting to his almost nine million followers on Instagram about how he was “super proud” of his roots. But Maamria would like to see him aplogise in a different way.
“If he can come to the Lamex for one of the games that would be fantastic. If he wants to really say sorry about it, he should come to support us at one of the games, I invite him personally.
“I think he does (have pride), it was just the wrong choice of words. I think he is actually proud of where he came from, proud of the journey. He came from a humble family and he has gone all the way to the top. He is on top of the world so we should be proud of him.”
This Saturday see's Boro host an in-form Mansfield side, who have only lost once in the league all season. Maamria hopes that Hamilton’s words will only enhance the supporters voice as Stevenage hunt for their tenth league win of the campaign.
“I expect fans to show even more passion than ever on Saturday. We are proud of what we are.
“Stevenage has great, loyal and very humble people. I am always out in the community and I love the people of Stevenage.”