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THE LINE OF FIRE; First aider attacks match official in football bust-up.

Byline: NICOLA LUDVIGSEN

A SIDELINE brawl erupted at a soccer match after a linesman was hit over the head - by a first aider.

Furious Gwilym Roberts hit the sideline official with his first aid kit before wrestling him to the ground.

He yesterday claimed he took a swing at linesman Kevin Owen after being poked in the eye with his flag.

Police are now investigating whether the irate first aider should be charged with assault.

The incident happened in a game between Llanrug United and Cae Clyd in the Gwynedd League in north Wales.

Referee Hugh Davies, who pulled the pair apart, said: "It was an ugly scene.

"Mr Roberts swung his first aid bag in a lasso motion before hitting Mr Owen from behind. It was a violent blow and he continued by wrestling him to the ground."

Linesman Kevin Owen said: "He ran and grabbed me around the waist like a maniac."

Officials had to restrain Mr Roberts before the game could continue.

Mr Owen added: "I'm used to receiving stick as a linesman but when someone spits at you and attacks you, I can't think of anything worse.

"I hope the FA and police do something about it."

Mr Roberts, of Tanygrisiau, Gwynedd, denied spitting at the linesman. He said: "He told the ref I spat at him - that's a lie.

"He poked me in the eye with the flag and I hit him back."

A complaint has been made to the North Wales Coast Football Association by Llanrug club secretary John Gareth.

A North Wales Police spokesman said: "We have not received an official complaint."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 6, 2003
Words:269
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