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Footballer in match attack
Published 14/01/13

A FOOTBALLER with Henley Town FC was allegedly knocked unconscious during a match.

Sam Bell, 21, of Woodcote Road, Caversham, is said to have been hit by a player from Dorchester United during his side’s match in Berinsfield on Sunday. He suffered a cut lip.

The Oxfordshire Sam Waters Sunday Cup quarter-final match was abandoned after 62 minutes.

The incident comes less than two months after a referee was attacked at a Sunday league football match.

Henley Town secretary Robert Maskell said it was a “nasty” incident. He said: “I’ve been involved with the club for about 10 to 15 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. It upset a lot of the players.

“I played when you could tackle each other hard but you never got up and hit someone. That’s what I drilled into the lads when I used to run the team.”

Referee Peter Forrester sent off a Dorchester player in the first half for two bookable offences and handed out several bookings during the game.

In the second half, Mr Maskell’s son Oliver, who plays for Henley, was said to have suffered a cut eye after allegedly being hit by a Dorchester player, who then allegedly struck Mr Bell. Mr Maskell said the striker was unconscious for three or four minutes.

An ambulance was called and he was treated by medics at the scene.

Mr Maskell said: “His parents were on the sideline and it was the first time his mother had watched him play. She panicked and ran on the pitch crying.”

Lilywhites manager Howard Olley said: “Sam was hit badly and stayed down for a fair while. His mouth was cut and swollen. It was just terrible and mindless thuggery. We’ve been playing in the cup for 15 years and I have never seen anything like that.”

Henley Town havemade an official complaint to the Oxfordshire FA.

Ian Mason, chief executive of the Oxfordshire FA, said they had received the referee’s report and were studying the evidence before deciding on what action to take.

Mr Bell, Mr Forrester and Dorchester United all refused to comment.

In November, referee Barrie Angell was left with a broken tooth after being attacked at the end of a Sunday league football match in Sonning Common.

Mr Angell, 69, from Caversham, was punched in the face twice by a player after a match between New England and SC United Reserves at the Bishopswood recreation ground.

A 20-year-old man from Whitley has been bailed to report to police on January 23.

Published 14/01/13

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