'Only matter of time until someone is killed' says Wigan referee assaulted during match

Video report by ITV Journalist Claire Hannah

A highly experienced referee from Wigan who was concussed and broke several bones while officiating a match says it is "only a matter of time before someone is killed."

Dave Bradshaw was refereeing a Remembrance Cup fixture between Platt Bridge and Wigan Rose on Sunday 2 October when he was assaulted and hospitalised.

He suffered concussion, cracked ribs and whiplash from the attack from a player he gave a red card.

He says bad behaviour from professional football sets a poor example to young players.

Dave Bradshaw has been a referee for over 20 years. Credit: ITV News

Dave Bradshaw said: "This is just the tip of the edge, it's getting worse. I hope I'm wrong but I hope a referee doesn't get murdered because of what happens on a football pitch.

"You've got your premier league players and pundits who are picking up on every single little decision a referee makes and being scrutinised.

"A referee can make one mistake and they're the worst ref on the planet."

Dave says he felt a big blow to the face and was unconscious for two minutes until he woke up on the floor. He has been a referee in the amateur leagues for more than 20 years.

With that knowledge, Dave stressed that the rules of football state that only the captain is meant to speak to the referee but it is not implemented.

He said: "The FA need to listen to referees and take things on board. Without grassroots football, the premier league won't survive."

Platt Bridge have confirmed the player who assaulted Bradshaw is no longer with the club. Credit: MEN Media

This is something Warren Barlow, secretary of Bolton, Bury & District Football League agrees with.

Warren said: "The FA are very good at delivering campaigns for people to sign up to but it seems to be a lot of rhetoric and not action.

"From my experience of the FA is that they're very fine driven. Their focus is on fining people and getting income in.

"They think that will make a difference and it doesn't. They've been fining people for over 150 years and it's not made one iota of difference."

Dave Bradshaw goes one step further, calling for points deductions instead of fines.

Platt Bridge, which is in Division Four, confirmed the player who assaulted the referee is no longer with the club and said they are "ashamed of what has happened". 

The 24-year-old man was arrested by Greater Manchester Police and released on bail.

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