Player launches at­tack on 69-year-old ref­eree

WICK­LOW LEAGUE IRATE SOC­CER PLAYER HOS­PI­TALISES EL­DERLY REF

Bray People - - News - Daniel GOR­MAN

A 69-YEAR-OLD ref­eree was sav­agely at­tacked by a dis­grun­tled player dur­ing a Divi­sion 2 match in En­niskerry over the week­end.

Ref­eree Thomas ‘Tucker’ Dowl­ing was left with a cut lip, a bro­ken tooth and a chipped tooth dur­ing the match be­tween En­niskerry YC and Ark­low Town.

As a re­sult of the in­ci­dent, the clash had to be aban­doned af­ter 75 min­utes and the Bray man brought to hospi­tal to have his in­juries treated.

It is al­leged that Dowl­ing wouldn’t give a free-kick to the Ark­low Town player in ques­tion.

Wit­nesses said that he then punched Dowl­ing in the face.

As the ref­eree fell to the ground, the Ark­low Town player at­tempted to lunge at him for a sec­ond time, be­fore team-mates stepped in to hold him back.

An eye-wit­ness said that the player had to be held on the ground for a fur­ther five min­utes, as he still sought fur­ther con­fronta­tion with Dowl­ing be­fore he even­tu­ally trudged off to the dress­ing rooms. ‘I have never seen some­one go so mad in my life,’ said one spec­ta­tor.

The gar­daí and an am­bu­lance were re­port­edly called. Dowl­ing was taken to the hospi­tal for a check-up and is now re­cov­er­ing from the in­ci­dent.

Speak­ing to East­coast FM on Sun­day night, Wick­low League PRO Dave Whe­lan said of the in­ci­dent: ‘It’s very dis­ap­point­ing when you hear any­thing like this whether it be a player, a spec­ta­tor and in par­tic­u­lar ref­er­ees; you just can’t have it. It has to be dealt with.’

The Ark­low player was also be­lieved to be banned from play­ing by the club and had only just re­turned when this hor­rific at­tack took place. The Wick­low League was un­able to com­ment on the al­leged in­ci­dent due to their im­pend­ing dis­ci­plinary hear­ing re­gard­ing the mat­ter.

This is not the first time in­ci­dents of this na­ture have taken place in the Wick­low League, as last year a Wick­low Rovers man­ager was as­saulted by play­ers from Bal­ly­waltrim FC and ref­eree Sea­mus Byrne was also the vic­tim of an al­leged at­tack.

Gar­dai con­firmed they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

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