Jail warning to man who attacked football referee

Referee Bill Pashby was attacked by Scott Prew during the Scarborough & District Saturday League's Trophy final between Goalsports and Eastway in March.
Referee Bill Pashby was attacked by Scott Prew during the Scarborough & District Saturday League's Trophy final between Goalsports and Eastway in March.

A man has been in court after attacking a football referee and leaving him with injuries that required hospital treatment.

Scott Alexander Prew, 23, ran onto the pitch near the end of the Scarborough Saturday League Trophy final between Goalsports and Eastway Sports at Pickering Town’s Mill Lane ground.

He barged into referee Bill Pashby, who is in his 60s, who fell straight to the ground. The stricken ref suffered a nasty shoulder injury and was treated on the pitch before being stretchered off and taken to hospital.

The game was abandoned after 82 minutes with Goalsports leading Eastway Sports 2-1 on March 29.

Prew, of High Garth, Eastfield, was arrested at his home about three hours after the evening game was abandoned.

He was ultimately charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and admitted the offence when he appeared at York Crown Court on Monday.

Goalsports were awarded the trophy with Eastway having been reduced to eight men during the match.

Police were called to the ground at about 9pm after receiving reports that a man in his 60s had been assaulted.

Mr Pashby said after the shocking incident that he was pondering his future as a referee, but is now back officiating Scarborough & District Football League.

Mr Pashby is back for the new season, taking charge of Edgehill Thirds’s 6-0 win over Filey Town Reserves on Saturday before overseeing Itis Itis Rovers thrash Scalby 7-2.

He said he loved refereeing but added following the incident: “This is the first time that anything like this has happened to me while I’ve been refereeing.

“I am a former player trying to put a bit back into football and I love doing it, but it has got a lot worse.

“Players think you have 25 Sky TV cameras on your head, but you are by yourself out there, which means that the losing team always blame you. There has been a lot of effort to bring younger referees through: they do it for about a year and then pack in because of the abuse they get. It is the same with the older refs - you just don’t need it.”

Prew’s barrister Andrew Semple said his client had suffered a personal tragedy around the time.

Prew was bailed until sentence on October 2, but Judge Andrew Stubbs told the lout: “The fact that I’m granting you bail shouldn’t be taken by you as any indication of the type of sentence that you receive, because all options (including jail) remain open.”

The actions of Prew have been condemned by Darren Foreman, Scarborough FC’s top scorer during their time in the Football League.

He said: “This is the reason referees don’t want to do the job anymore, whether the ref is good, bad or indifferent.

“We need them to give up their time in order to get a game on.

“If there are no referees, there will be no local football, simple. I hope they chuck the book at him.”

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