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Non league referee shares horrifying remark from fan that left him on verge of quitting

A non league referee shares a horrifying remark from a fan left him on the verge of quitting, taking to Twitter explaining what happened.

Nathan Tansley, who is a Level 5 Senior County referee and Sunday League manager of Roman Colts according to his social media profile, was officiating FC Clacton U18s vs Brantham U18s.

However towards the end of the game, a controversial moment with a minority led to abuse being aimed at him and it’s left him disappointed.

Clearly hurt from the ordeal, he wrote: Feeling absolutely shit and mentally battered after being told “I’m gonna fucking stab you you c****” by a spectator tonight.

“I’m debating just stopping what’s point I don’t mind the stick but when you feel generally threatened on a pitch what is the point.

“Massive shout to referee and other AR and other spectators checking on me after incident and helping to ID the person.

“All of this because flag for a foul in last minute which disallows a goal which 95% people agreed with…”

Twitter users reacted as the non league referee shares the horrifying remark that left him on the verge of quitting…

@cclarkey1983: Footballers make mistakes – Managers make mistakes – Referees make mistakes! I have learnt so much this season with referees that I appreciate them more than ever. Without you, the game wouldn’t happen at our level. Don’t let idiots put you off….

@lukeCFC25: It’ll only be a small deterrent but would refs wearing small cameras help? If anyone is then abusive just share the images on social media. These cameras are used in supermarkets to protect staff, would make sense for referees to wear them at grass roots level if they wish. But obviously the most important thing is to get rid of this behaviour at matches. People who are abusive to players or refs at grass roots level should be banned.

@ickenhamfc: As a club we stand behind you and don’t like to see any abuse pointed at referees, officials or anyone for that matter. But don’t give up, we need people like yourself to help eradicate things like this from the game! Keep going we’re behind you

@NigelTDyer: Please don’t let him beat you. The abuse is unacceptable, but the game needs you. The abuse has to stop

@KellyWhyteleafe: That’s disgusting, what is wrong with some people. Don’t let the idiots win, the game is more important than them, keep going for all the people that love it and don’t behave like that.

@NSNO_EFC: The fact that someone felt it acceptable to say that is disgraceful. I hope the club deals with the spectator by banning them for life. Without the referees the game dies.

@benthear: Soon there won’t be enough officials to cover all the games if this carries on. Players & supporters need to show more respect to officials or they’ll end up with no game to play or watch. The person responsible for threatening you should be banned.

@HassanNalbant: People that over criticise or give refs are hard time are actually fucked in the head. Like if all ref’s had a strike. All games would be off. It’s something in life I never understood

@coach_dkwyatt: Shocking behaviour and sorry you’ve had to deal with this Nathan. Unfortunately officiating often a thankless task, though there are some who are most appreciative of your efforts. Try to remember the bigger picture though and the part you play in enabling our beautiful game.

@RefereeThurrock: Nathan seems like that’s becoming a common Practice now. An experienced referee on our Society on a Step 2 game was threatened with a knife by fans in the car park. The referee involved has suffered huge mental health problems and illness but very little help from @FARefereeing

@Anglian95018999: That is disgusting. Yes many of us have given refs stick . Kettle takes a hell of a lot and I actually in one way admire him for carrying on. Same mate I’ll admire you for doing the same. Real man for doing that .scream at a ref – ffs ref that’s crap etc but threats no!

It was revealed last month that referees were leaving the game in droves because of abuse – even with teenage officials are targeted – and around 10,000 have hung up their whistles in the last five years leading to severe shortages.

Abuse of referees is having a devastating impact on officials, including teenage refs, and the scale of the exodus at the grassroots level that there are now real fears elite football will be impacted by a shortage of referees, or a drop in quality, as the pool to choose from is drastically reduced.

The treatment of referees in the Premier League and EFL, where every decision is being questioned, has been blamed for appalling behaviour of coaches, players, parents and supporters all the way down the pyramid and age groups.

It is claimed that the total number of refs in the country has gone down from 33,000 to 23,000 in just five years – a fall of one third.

The situation is also made worse due to the Covid pandemic, which has prevented the recruitment of new referees because courses have been cancelled.

Research from the University of Portsmouth has found a staggering 93 per cent of refs have been abused, a much higher figure than in some other European countries, suggesting football in England has a particular problem.

The level of abuse among Dutch referees is just over half of that in England at 51%.

‘People are scared,’ said Martin Cassidy, chief executive of Ref Support UK and a former FA referee coach. Cassidy reckons that many instances of abuse are missed.

‘Some referees think they will miss out on big games if they do report it, or they have reported it in the past and nothing was done,’ he said.

Cassidy also encourages referees to share videos of the abuse they have suffered and has amassed a worrying collection.

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