Ju­nior player ad­mits wad­ing into crowd was er­ror

Daily Record - - NEWS - JOHN FER­GU­SON j.fer­gu­son@dai­lyrecord.co.uk

A GOALIE who jumped into the crowd and brawled with abu­sive fans has apol­o­gised – but in­sists he acted in self de­fence.

Ross Wort­ley, 42, was sent off and could face a ban af­ter los­ing the rag with a group of his own team’s sup­port­ers at the week­end.

We re­ported yes­ter­day, in­set, that there were re­ports of head­butts, up­per­cuts and kung fu kicks be­ing thrown as he bat­tled four drunks who had taunted him.

But Ross, from Dun­fermline, is dev­as­tated that the flash­point could bring his 14-year ju­nior foot­ball ca­reer to an end.

He said: “For those who wit­nessed what hap­pened I can only apol­o­gise, like I have apol­o­gised to my man­ager, my coaches, my fel­low play­ers and the com­mit­tee.

“But no foot­baller or sportsper­son should have to go through the sheer abuse that was get­ting thrown at me, no mat­ter what level they are at. You play a sport be­cause you love it and want to en­joy it. But you can’t when you get a mi­nor­ity of id­iots want­ing to ruin it.

“The abuse had been go­ing on for three weeks but on Satur­day it was per­sonal and vile – it was dis­gust­ing to be hon­est.

“For the whole of the first half I was get­ting this, so at half­time I ap­proached the so-called sup­port­ers, which I ac­cept was the wrong thing to do.

“As soon as I got face-to-face, I started get­ting hit from three fans.

“There cer­tainly weren’t any kung fu kicks on my part, I don’t think I could get my legs up that high. I had to de­fend my­self like any­one else would.

“Un­for­tu­nately for me, by the time the ref­eree no­ticed what was hap­pen­ing, he could only see me de­fend­ing my­self and had no op­tion but to send me off.” The port worker is the goal­keeper for Dun­fermline-based Oak­ley United and has pre­vi­ously played for Liv­ingston United, Cross­gates PJFC and West Calder. He added: “My young daugh­ter usu­ally comes to see me play but de­cided not to that day thank­fully. “I’m in my re­tire­ment year as this is my 14th sea­son in the ju­niors. “I wanted to run out for a big club again be­fore I stop play­ing and Oak­ley fit­ted the bill. “I didn’t see it com­ing to an end like this and I’d be dev­as­tated if I can’t play the game I love be­cause of this. “It’s un­for­tu­nate there is a small sec­tion of sup­port­ers that act the way they do. Most fans are great.” Ross lashed out dur­ing his side’s East of Scot­land Cup se­cond round tie with Tra­nent in Perth. For­mer Tra­nent man­ager Hamish Col­gan, who wit­nessed the in­ci­dent, backed up the goalie’s story. He said: “He shouldn’t have done what he did but he has acted un­der ex­treme provo­ca­tion.” Wort­ley’s clash hap­pened when Oak­ley were 2-1 down. They lost 5-1. The Scot­tish Ju­nior FA are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

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