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Port Vale fan chases referee off pitch trying to confront him over controversial decision

A Port Vale fan chases the referee off the pitch trying to confront him over a controversial decision in the game against Portsmouth.

The culprit ended up getting restrained by fans and staff down by the touchline after running onto the pitch to confront the referee during their League One fixture against Portsmouth on Saturday.

The incident came just after Craig Hicks decided to award a penalty to Pompey, with Colby Bishop calmly slotting home on the 88th minute.

His spot-kick proved meant that it keeps John Mousinho’s side sitting top of the League One table with 59 points from 29 games played. Port Vale meanwhile are 20th with 30 points from 26 games, 3 points above the drop zone.

As can be seen in the clip above, the pitch invader runs across the length of the pitch, gunning for Hicks, who suddenly spots him and has no choice but to run in the opposite direction and makes his way for the dugout.

The fan managed to slow his run down, straight into the hands of staff and players down by the bench with Hicks waiting by the touchline in the closing stages of the match at Vale Park.


Port Vale Football Club condemn the actions of the individual who entered the field of play during today’s match against Portsmouth.

We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure the matter and the individual is dealt with a zero tolerance approach.

We remind all supporters that entering the field of play is a criminal offence.


“We are appalled by the incident in today’s League One fixture between Port Vale and Portsmouth which saw referee Craig Hicks chased off the field of play and condemn the mindless actions of the individual involved. “

Match officials should never feel threatened for their safety when playing a pivotal role in the staging of games in our competitions.

“We will provide our full support to Craig and his team alongside Port Vale and the relevant authorities as they seek to bring this individual to justice.”

Conor Shaughnessy said the scenes at Port Vale were ‘wild’.


He told The News: “I’ve never seen anything like it, it was a bit wild, I’m glad the referee’s got out of the way of it and the security have done their job.

“When the ref was running away, I thought “Is there a streaker on the pitch?” – and clearly there wasn’t. This guy was making a beeline for the ref.

“It’s very rare, it’s poor from that one individual, I don’t think that sums up the whole fanbase.

“One individual let himself down and it should never come to that, whether the ref has made some good decisions, some bad decisions, it should just be left on the football field, there shouldn’t be any interference.

“He made a good decision with my tackle leading up to the penalty and, while I haven’t seen the penalty back, I thought it was one at the time.

“I got the ball, I don’t think the player had any complaints, he was late to it if anything and rolled around.

“That was where the initial moan was and the penalty was straight after. All things exploded after that tackle.”

Mousinho said post-match: “As the game progressed, we were able to open them up and create chance after chance.

“We need to be better in a lot of those moments to make sure we actually put the ball in the back of the net.

“But I thought that we played really well across the 90 minutes and that the victory was thoroughly deserved.

“There were shots that were blocked and there are times when you think it might not come, but you could see that the boys meant business and they didn’t let their heads drop.

“I thought that it was a proper tackle from Conor Shaughnessy in the middle of the pitch and then it looked like a stonewall penalty, so it was a great decision.

“Colby had a few minutes to think about the penalty and what happened a couple of weeks ago, so it showed real mettle to pick the ball up and then put it in the back of the net.

“There was then an unsavoury incident with a fan going for the referee and I’m glad that he was able to get out the way. We don’t want to see things like that.

“It was tough to deal with the late barrage and we naturally sat deeper for the final few minutes, but we defended well and I’m proud of the way we saw the game out.”



Twitter users reacted after a Port Vale fan chases the referee off pitch trying to confront him over a controversial decision…

@spinthewebmark: I wouldn’t mind but he was quicker than all of our strikers

@FulhamTransfer: This is ridiculous! That fan should be banned from attending again. Refs can make poor decisions but they shouldn’t be chased off the pitch.

@jamierutter11: Was quicker then loft

@boslembilly: Like a scene from Benny Hill

@CallumDowst: imagine getting a stadium ban for chasing a ref after a correct decision 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

@CeCeShakes21: Most entertaining moment of the game

@Adam_PVFC: He showed more effort then our strikers

@BlueArmyAlex: Refs proper rattled them total headloss 😂

@Aarkonaut: Anyone underplaying this, blaming the ref, or making a joke of it needs their heads checking. I’m absolutely embarrassed by the majority of comments from Vale “fans”. Is this the flipside of ultra-positivity and rejecting self-criticism? Do we need a scapegoat?

@HenryII90359048: As bad as they are at times this is not on. Fan is an absolute helmet.

@LoubyLee12: Unfortunately the resent events at reading have caused this. The EFL is joke.. They have set president.. I think many Vale fans feel aggrieved about the outcome even though they was supportive of reading. Expecting a big fine incoming

@PaulHitchen2010: Shut up. That fan put in more effort than our strikers all season.

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