A town mayor who taunted a teenager on Facebook saying he should “take up netball” after he broke his leg during a football match he was refereeing has been fined just £35.
Sunday League striker Johnny Adair, 16, shattered his tibia following a horror tackle during a match on September 15.
But the youngster said he was stunned when Councillor Jason Ward – who was reffing the match – REFUSED to stop the game and even threatened to book him for DIVING.
The college student was then forced to CRAWL off the pitch in agony after cllr Ward is accused of telling him: “Get up. You’d be crying if you had broken your leg.”
The councillor was hit with the fine after being found guilty of two charges by the Birmingham FA following an incident in a match between Southam United Under-18s and Caludon Youth in the Coventry Minor League.
Upon hearing of the incidents, the Birmingham FA’s disciplinary team charged cllr Ward – mayor of Southam, Warks., – with inappropriate conduct in that he did not show a duty of care for an injured player and making inappropriate social network remarks.
He denied both charges but was not required to be present at the committee hearing, where he was found guilty and slapped with a £35 fine.
Johnny, who is on the books of Birmingham City as a youth player, was rushed to hospital by terrified mum Amanda Kemp, 38, where an x-ray showed the broken limb.
But Johnny was shocked when the woke up the next day to find a Facebook message sent from cllr Ward’s account making fun of the serious injury.
It read: “Sorry to hear of your ‘broken’ leg, probably happened during the 15th roll, not the challenge!
“It’s only a crack, not a real break. Football is a physical game played by men.
“Maybe think about netball or rounders in future.
“Get well soon.”
Striker Johnny had been playing for Southam United U18s against Cauldon Youth U18s in the John Bryan Coventry Minor League match when he was badly tackled by an opposition player.
After crawling to the side of the pitch his two friends who were watching the game carried him to his mother’s car.
Mum Amanda then rushed him to Warwick Hospital where he stayed for five hours before returning to his home in Southam in a plaster cast.
Speaking after the incident Johnny said he was disgusted to wake up the next day to find the sarcastic messages sent to him from cllr Ward.
He said: “I knew straight away it was a horrendous tackle but the ref was saying if I’d really broken my leg I’d be crying.
“He even said he was going to book me for diving – it was definitely a bad tackle, it was so late and he ripped my shin pad.
“After I dragged myself off the pitch the ref never came to check if I was OK or show any concern really.
“Then he sent me these sarcastic messages on Facebook making fun of me and saying I should play netball or rounders instead.
“It’s shocking. A ref shouldn’t behave like that.
“When I found out he was the mayor I couldn’t believe it.
“My main worry is that he’s going to ref other games.
“If he behaves like that towards me what’s he going to say if a younger lad gets seriously hurt?
“His job is to protect the players but he showed me no sympathy – he should take these things seriously.”
Cllr Ward today defended his role as a referee and councillor.
He said: “The FA have found there was no wrongdoing on the pitch and his mother received an apology two days after.
“I was fined for sending the messages on Facebook, which I have accepted. It was just a bit of banter – which has been misinterpreted.
“But I accept I was in the wrong.
“I have paid the fine – and the case it closed now.
“It has not affected my state as councillor or as a referee and I continue to do both.”
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