Goalie punched linesman, Grantham magistrates hear

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A goalkeeper was told he is a bad role model to children after he got sent off and punched the linesman.

Stefan Carey, 37, was playing in a veterans match against Barrowby Football Club on September 23 when the trouble started.

The victim had been playing for Barrowby until the 60th minute when he was substituted and asked to run the line.

The pair were abusive to each other shouting and doing rude gestures.

In a statement read out in court, the victim said: “He tackled a player and kicked him up in the air, it was clearly a late challenge. The referee took out a red card and sent him off.”

But instead of leaving the pitch Carey headed straight for the linesman with his hands up in front of him, shouting: “Come on then.”

The linesman put his flag out in front of him to keep Carey back . Other playersjoined in to make the goalkeeper leave the pitch.

The match continued but Carey returned and swung a punch at the linesman, hitting him from behind.

The punch caught him around the side of his head .

Carey, of Ridgeway Walk, Nottingham, defending himself, admitted the assault. He apologised for his actions.

He said: “It’s something I’ve never done before, I’ve played football for over 20 years and I’ve never had the level of provocation that came from the victim. I got caught up in the moment, I should’ve been more grown up and walked away but there had been lots of smiling and hand gestures from him.”

Carey said it was made worse by poor refereeing after the referee did not turn up and one of the Barrowby fans stepped in.

Carey added: “The whole situation has made me realise I don’t want to be involved in football anymore.”

Magistrate Graham Harman gave him a six month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £50 compensation and £43 costs.

Mr Harman said: “This assault was silly really wasn’t it? A grown man playing a game of football, a bit of aggravation and you lose it. You’re not a very good role model for the children. It’s nice to hear you’ve stopped playing football.”