Angry parent lashes out at referee

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE:A TEENAGE referee has spoken of his disgust at being attacked by a parent, only minutes after he blew the final whistle on an under-11s football match.

By Jo Macdonald

A TEENAGE referee has spoken of his disgust at being attacked by a parent, moments after he blew the final whistle on an under-11s football match.

The semi-final league cup game between Needham Phoenix and Stow Falcons, at Crowley Park in Needham Market, had only just ended on Easter Sunday when 18-year-old Jonathan Pritchard, who was making his way over to thank the linesman for his help, was knocked to the ground from behind.

Jonathan has been left nursing a badly bruised and swollen leg and unable to play football for his village team or go to work until it has healed.

Suffolk police confirmed they are investigating an incident at the match in Needham Market at 1.40pm on Sunday.

A spokeswoman said: "I can confirm we had a report of an 18-year-old referee being assaulted by a member of the crowd when he was walking off the pitch. He felt a blow to his right thigh which caused him to fall to the ground.

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For the full story and background see tomorrow's Evening Star.