Disgraceful Port Vale followers help spectator who ran on pitch to chase referee

A day of disgrace for Port Vale has been marred additional after supporters defended the fan who invaded the pitch and chased the referee.

There had been disgraceful scenes at Vale Park – the place Robbie Williams was in attendance after being named membership president earlier within the day – as an irate supporter received onto the pitch and ran at referee Craig Hicks, who had simply given a late penalty to guests Portsmouth. The spot-kick was scored with Pompey profitable the League One conflict 1-0.

As the official made his approach in the direction of the sidelines, he was protected by members of employees whereas Vale boss Andy Crosby and one his coaches, David Dunn, restrained the person. Vale quickly launched a robust assertion condemning the incident.

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The assertion mentioned: “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.”

Referee Craig Hicks heads over to the touchline after being chased by a fan
Referee Craig Hicks heads over to the touchline after being chased by a fan

The pitch invader is retrained by Port Vale boss Andy Crosby
The pitch invader is retrained by Port Vale boss Andy Crosby

However, some Vale followers praised the supporter. One mentioned: “Good on the guy that ran on. Don’t ban him. Give him a lifetime supply of free season tickets each season. 1 nil to the referee.”

Another added: “But can we set up a collection to cover his fine? The ref is just lucky that there was only 1 fan that came for him. Let’s hope he has a spare pair of pants for his trip back to Portsmouth.”

A 3rd declared: “Give him the freedom of Burslem [the area where Vale are based].” A fourth added: “That fan actually went and did what every football fan has dreamed of at one point in their lives.”

Port Vale's new club president Robbie Williams saw the pitch invasion unfold
Port Vale’s new membership president Robbie Williams noticed the pitch invasion unfold

Meanwhile, a fifth mentioned: “He’s gonna get banned but I feel no sympathy towards the ref. Hopefully he never wants to come back here again.”

However, a couple of followers did name out these defending the pitch invader. One commented: “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?”