I’ll fight two-year ban says Kells player
Last updated at 19:43, Sunday, 29 July 2012
AN amateur rugby league player who has been banned from the game for two years for punching a fan has vowed to fight the decision.
Martin Thompson, 27, was hit with the ban this week as punishment for his role in the violence that erupted in a cup final at Lowca between his club, Kells A, and Flimby on July 14.
Mr Thompson left the field of play early in the second half to confront an opposing fan who, he says, had been abusive towards him during the game. A brawl ensued which resulted in the match being abandoned.
“I’m not proud of what happened, but I feel I have been victimised by receiving such a lengthy ban,” said Mr Thompson, following Monday night’s hearing of the Cumberland Amateur Rugby League management committee at Maryport.
“I launched an appeal against the ban straight away because I don’t think I should be banned from the game for defending myself.”
Kells A and Flimby were both fined £200 (plus a further £200 suspended for a year) for causing an abandoned game and bringing the game into disrepute.
Recalling the clash, Mr Thompson says that he went to challenge a Flimby fan after being on the receiving end of personal abuse. He claims the fan then threw a beer can at him – causing a hand injury for which he is still receiving treatment – and he reacted violently as a result. The referee quickly abandoned the game.
“There’s only so much abuse you can take, especially with my family there in the crowd,” said Mr Thompson, a competitor in mixed martial arts.
“The disciplinary hearing itself went fine, and both clubs were on good terms and agreed that lessons can be learned, including better management of the sidelines during games.
“But my punishment was overly excessive.”
Roger Blair, the chairman of Cumberland ARL, said: “The seriousness with which this was viewed by the committee is clearly demonstrated by the fines handed out and the suspension.
“We had to respond as a committee when you have young kids watching and something likes this happens; they are impressionable. We fully support what was done at the game by referee David Askew.”
The final will be replayed at a later date. The proceeds of the abandoned game will go to the Pride of Cumbria Air Ambulance.
First published at 11:10, Thursday, 26 July 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
Martin done what anyone would have done if being given lots of abuse. Martins a really nice guy who lost it alittle i think his ban is unfair and i dont think he looks anything like shrek as the crowd was yelling.
i attended match the banter was started by kells supporters, they counted an injured flimby player out boxing style then shouted your out, also verbally abused flimby first aid man shouting whos the fat bxxxxxd in the vest, these people didnt retaliate just laughed, as they were there for a game of rugby,martin thompson spoiled the game for both teams and should accept his punishment like a man,both lots of supporters were bantering teams but noone else reacted to it a ggod game ruined by one bad tempered man
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