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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Don't ban me for life, pleads Thompson

PUBLISHED: 13:42 25 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 March 2010

ONE of the players featured in this column two weeks ago for assaulting a referee in a Ipswich Sunday Football League match, today said how much he regretted the incident.

ONE of the players featured in this column two weeks ago for assaulting a referee in a Ipswich Sunday Football League match, today said how much he regretted the incident.

"I would not recommend it to anyone," said 27-year-old Julian Thompson, who has been barred from all football involvement since his club Northern Celtic played BT Research at Clayton School in September.

"I just don't know what to do on a Sunday morning. I feel completely lost."

Thompson cannot even watch his team play after the Suffolk Football Association put into effect an immediate ban after receiving news of the incident a couple of hours after the game ended.

The former outfield player turned goalkeeper faces a sine die ban after his alleged assault on Colin Goody, who is BT's manager and not a qualified referee.

His case will be heard by the Suffolk FA disciplinary committee and Thompson says that he will ask for a personal hearing.

"I would rather have a big fine than to be banned for life," he added. "I admit I did wrong but I cannot face not playing football again.

"Paolo Di Canio pushed referee Paul Alcock over in a Premiership game and was back playing again after 11 games.

"I have been booked just three times in 11 seasons and totally regret my recent actions."

Qualified referees in Division Ten of the Ipswich Sunday League are few and far between and Thompson admits that he would much rather play a game with an opposition official handling the whistle than not play at all.

Goody, who gave up his own game so that the match could take place, also sent off two other Northern Celtic players.

Thompson has written to the Suffolk FA giving his side of the story.

"It looked to me that BT players were making tackles that were going unpunished and could have ruined somebody's career," he said.

"I have never seen a game controlled that way. While the referee was dismissing our second player for what seemed a trivial offence I walked over to a large group of players pushing each other.

"The referee's reply to my request that he got the captains together so shocked me that out of character I slapped him in the face still wearing my gloves. If I had any intention of hurting the man I would have removed my gloves.

"I don't condone what I did and as soon as I slapped him I knew what the consequences would be. I didn't even wait for my card. I just walked off and got changed regretting what I had done."

Thompson added how difficult he found Sunday mornings since he was banned.

He continued: "It has been very hard watching my friends playing and enjoying the game. It has hit me hard as football is a big part of my life.

"I feel that if I do get a lengthy ban I would like to take up coaching and try to give something back to football and apply for coaching badges for either junior or senior level. I would like to apologise to the referee."

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