Soccer boss cleared of assault
A FOOTBALL manager has been cleared of attacking the boss of a rival team during a dramatic finish to a match.Magistrates took ten minutes to find Peter Gorham not guilty of headbutting, punching and kicking Paul Tietjen.
A FOOTBALL manager has been cleared of attacking the boss of a rival team during a dramatic finish to a match.
Magistrates took ten minutes to find Peter Gorham not guilty of headbutting, punching and kicking Paul Tietjen.
The Brantham Athletic boss was accused of assaulting Mr Tietjen, the manager of Willis and Kesgrave United, at a Suffolk & Ipswich League Division One match on January 18.
The court heard that home side Willis and Kesgrave had come back from three goals down to level the scores at 4-4 in the dying minutes of the game at Tuddenham Road, Ipswich.
They were angry a potential equaliser had been denied just moments earlier – by a linesman supplied by Brantham – and when they scored the final goal Mr Tietjen ran up to Mr Gorham on the touchline to celebrate.
It was alleged Mr Gorham had thrown a punch at Mr Tietjen as they stood face-to-face and then butted and kicked him.
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Mr Gorham, 51, of Manor Terrace, Felixstowe, who has managed Brantham Athletic for three seasons, denied a charge of common assault by beating.
He said Mr Tietjen celebrated his team's equalising goal by running 10 to 15 yards to confront him as he stood with team coach Dean French.
"He was right in my face, his eyes were going and I couldn't understand what was going on. He was about an inch away from my face and I could smell his breath," he said.
Mr Gorham said Mr Tietjen swore at him and called him a "cheat" so he pushed the rival boss away, telling him to "get out of my face".
He added: "He came back and grabbed my top. My left foot slipped and lots of bodies jumped in, there were lots of arms and legs. I just wanted to get away."
Mr Tietjen suffered an injury to his nose from the incident and Mr Gorham had a mark on his head, but he denied deliberately assaulting the Willis manager.
Players and officials from Brantham who saw the incident, including chairman Graham Langdown and his wife, insisted Mr Gorham did not attack Mr Tietjen.
Striker Matthew Upson described Mr Tietjen as "going ballistic" after the goal and said he was acting like "a crazed man".
Mr Gorham, a self-employed roofing contractor, declined to comment after the case.