‘Anxious’ referee is back on pitch

Referee Ronnie Chambers.
Referee Ronnie Chambers.

A REFEREE who was left with a broken nose after allegedly being head-butted during a match dusted off his whistle and got back on to the pitch.

Ronnie Chambers overcame his anxiety and stepped back on to the football field for the Cameron’s Old Boys versus Schooner Athletic game on The Rec, off Kingsley Avenue, on Sunday.

And the 47-year-old even made five bookings during the match in which Cameron’s won 4-2.

It was the first time Ronnie had officiated a match since he was allegedly attacked and left with a broken nose and swollen mouth and lips just seven minutes into the Hartlepool Sunday Morning Football League Division One game between Welfare Athletics and DPM Carpets at Grayfields, Hartlepool, Sunday, August 19.

The dad of two, who works at Hartlepool’s JobCentre in Wesley Square, said: “I was anxious beforehand and all morning I was kicking my feet a bit and couldn’t wait to get it over with really.

“It was a good game though and I handed out five bookings. I was fine doing that but the worries were in my mind. It couldn’t have gone better though really.”

Ronnie added: “I’ve had lots of support during the week from the Durham FA and the Referees’ Association in the form of phone calls, texts and emails, which was nice and helped greatly.

“There were also people who gave me support in the changing rooms before the game on Sunday saying it was nice to see me back.

“It did help me because you can get cynical about people. It goes to show that the majority are decent, caring people.”

Ronnie, from Blackhall Colliery, said that following the alleged headbutt, which left him with a bloody nose, he went to One Life Hartlepool, in Park Road, where medics said he had a broken nose.