In what has been described as appalling and sickening behaviour, an unnamed player for Rookley is reported to have picked up a plank of wood following a Division 2 game against Brighstone on Saturday, before charging towards the Brighstone players, striking one across the back and narrowly missing another.
In reaction, the attacker was tackled to the ground by an opposition player before the majority of the Brighstone team confronted him (the Rookley player) and his bizarre actions.
Although no arrests have been made at this stage, officers from Hampshire Constabulary are continuing their investigations. It has also been confirmed that the Hampshire Football Association will be investigating the incident in due course.
Questions are being raised about the competency of the match referee, Ian Smith, with reports of a number of poor refereeing decisions having been made during the 90-minute game which raised tensions throughout. With several yellow cards and an incident of offensive swearing in front of at least 8 children and their mothers, which was ignored by the referee, it was a game many will want to forget.
Rookley won the match 3-1. The player is not expected to play for the Rookley side again.
UPDATE THURSDAY – Police have this morning confirmed that the previously unnamed Rookley player, Jody Paul Wright, 26, and of Bowden Mead Close, Newport, has been charged with a public order offence and will appear before Isle of Wight Magistrates later this month.