Football ref: ‘I was headbutted’

Football referee Peter Suter
Football referee Peter Suter
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A FOOTBALL referee needed a hospital check-up after an alleged assault by a player at a five-a-side match.

Police are investigating the allegation after a competition involving six sides at the Keepmoat Stadium sports complex in Doncaster on Monday night and are appealing for witnesses.

Experienced football referee Peter Suter, aged 53, was left with swelling and bruising to his face after a headbutt, allegedly from a player.

He had just sent off two players in one game.

Police are expected to look at closed circuit TV at the venue after the incident at 7.55pm.

Mr Suter, a bus driver from Rossington, has refereed for more than 20 years and has officiated at matches in the Doncaster Sunday Alliance and the Doncaster Senior League.

He claims he was attacked after the game. He left the pitch while players were collecting their belongings.

He said: “I was talking to another referee, and he shouted to me, ‘Look out’. I felt a bang on my head as I was headbutted from behind.

“I felt dizzy and I think I was concussed. If people think they can come out and do something like that, they need to know better. I still feel in shock over what happened.”

Mr Suter was off work with his injury yesterday, and went to the Doncaster Royal Infirmary for a check-up.

“I have always found 99 per cent of the teams in who play in the games there are superb and I have never been injured there before.

“But about 20 years ago I was hit in the jaw by a player and then kicked while I was on the ground. He got banned for life for what happened.

“I am still going to referee. The fear of attacks puts a lot of good referees off and drives them away from the game. I am not going to be let them drive me away. I’m above that.”

Police last night confirmed: “After the match had taken place, a player from one of the teams assaulted one of the referees by headbutting him.

“Enquiries are being made with all the players and their associates who were involved in the game, to trace the offending player. Violence towards officials at any sporting event is not acceptable and will be thoroughly investigated.

“If any member of the public was in attendance and witnessed the incident, they are urged to come forward with any information by calling 0114 220 2020 and quoting incident number 1027 of Jan 24.”

Bosses at the Keepmoat promised to help the police .

Shane Chalmers, chief executive of the stadium management company, said: “We can confirm there was an incident last night on one of our stadium soccer pitches involving a player and a referee.

“The stadium management company will not tolerate violence at any of our sporting activities and thankfully incidents like this are a rare occurrence.