Letter: A footballing disgrace in 1923

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The Harrogate Advertiser (November 27) devoted two pages of the sports section to an assault on a football referee. This has happened before.

Almost 100 years ago on November 16 1923, during a football match at Spofforth, the referee, William Prest, a Starbeck joiner, awarded a penalty to the opposing team. Later in the game he booked Joseph Ledgeway, a Knaresborough bricklayer.

As he was booking a second player Ledgeway struck him in the face.

At the insistence of the Football Association, Ledgeway was taken to court and charged with assaulting the referee. He pleaded guilty and in his defence said he had been insulted by a spectator and was excited.

The chairman of the Bench told him if he could not play the game without striking the referee he was not worth a row of pins. It was a positive disgrace and he had only just escaped being sent to prison. He was fined £5.

James Rogers

Rothbury Close, Harrogate