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  1. ITV Report

Challenge Cup ref speaks out against online abuse

Photo: PA

A leading Super League referee is calling for greater respect for his profession - and a major re-think on how people use social media. It's just been announced Rob Hicks will referee Saturday's Coral Challenge Cup Final between St Helens and Warrington Wolves at Wembley Stadium.

He was subjected to a death threat by a Warrington fan earlier this year and went to the man's home to confront him over it. The man was given a suspended banning order as a result.

But Hicks says the problem of abuse is widespread in society especially in football - and becoming a bigger problem in rugby too. He calls on parents to set a better example - and on anyone who uses social media to pick people up on behaviour that is unacceptable online. He spoke to Tony Morris and Lucy Meacock on Granada Reports.