A STRATFORD youth team player was told to take up netball by the Mayor of Southam after he broke his leg during a football match.
Striker Johnny Adair, aged just 16, shattered his tibia during a Sunday League match, but afterwards Cllr Jason Ward, who refereed the match, sent the teenager a mocking message on Facebook.
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.”
The mayor was just as heartless when Johnny’s leg was broken during the match.
The young striker said: “I took the ball off a player and he kicked me in the shin-pad but he really swung for it. Then I flipped over in the air and obviously I was shouting and swearing because I was in agony but all I heard was the ref telling me he was going to book me for swearing. I said ‘I’ve broken my leg!’ He said ‘no you haven’t, you would be crying if you had’.”
Johnny crawled off the pitch, where he waited until half-time when the referee was again unmoved by the teenager’s injury.
After he was taken to hospital by his mum, an X-ray revealed a clean break of the tibia, and he was put in plaster cast. The up and coming striker is now out for six months.
Johnny couldn’t believe the other player didn’t even get a booking, but it was the insensitive Facebook message from the Mayor afterwards that amazed him most.
“I haven’t had one apology, it’s a joke,” he said. “It’s shocking. A ref shouldn’t behave like that. When I found out he was mayor, I couldn’t believe it.
“My main worry is that he’s going to ref other games. His job is to protect the players but he showed me no sympathy— he should take these things seriously.”
Birmingham County FA are investigating allegations into Cllr Ward's behaviour on and off the pitch.
A spokesman said: “We can confirm this individual has been charged with improper conduct and the matter is currently being investigated further.
“We are in receipt of a complaint from Miss Kemp concerning an injury to her son and have since liaised with her to ascertain fuller information.”
Cllr Ward, who has been the mayor of Southam for four months, declined to comment on the allegations.
As well as missing his sixth form lessons at Southam College, Johnny can’t work for three months, which he says will cost him £700.
Steve Lewis, who runs Stratford’s youth team described the striker as one of the best young players in his team.
Johnny has now been forced to write this season off but he’s already looking forward to next year and when asked if he could make the step up to Stratford’s men’s team he said: “Hopefully in time that would happen.”
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