Player launches attack on 69-year-old referee
WICKLOW LEAGUE IRATE SOCCER PLAYER HOSPITALISES ELDERLY REF
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.