Letter: A footballing disgrace in 1923

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.

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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