Saturday 27 December 2014

Referee tells of terror over soccer red card beating

Greg Harkin

Published 10/05/2014 | 02:30

Referee Jim McKenna, who was attacked several years after giving a red card in a football game.
Referee Jim McKenna, who was attacked several years after giving a red card in a football game.

A REFEREE has spoken of his terror after being hospitalised with a bleeding brain injury by thugs holding a grudge over a sending off in a soccer match.

Highly respected official Jim 'Goz' McKenna also had his car wrecked just hours after getting out of hospital in a bid by the gang to silence him, he has alleged.

The 60-year-old said: "This has to stop and it has to stop now. I've had enough of this."

He was attacked at his home in Drogheda by relatives of a player sent off in a match several years ago.

"There were three of them," he said.

"They burst in through the bedroom door and they dragged me out of bed and beat the living daylights out of me, hitting me repeatedly in the head.

"One of them said I was getting it (the beating) for the sending off of the player," said the shocked father of two.

Mr McKenna was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes hospital where he was treated for several cuts and bruising to his face.

But weeks later, after suffering severe headaches, his GP ordered him to be admitted to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where he had to undergo emergency brain surgery.

Mr McKenna has been a referee in Co Louth for 18 years and has never been assaulted in that time.

Irish Independent

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