Bullying parents surrounded a 15 year-old female ref and reduced her to tears during an U10 juniors game in Blackpool.
After a strong challenge went unpunished towards the end of a fixture between Platt Lane City, who have links to Manchester City and are based at the club's youth complex in Moss Side, and Liverpool's Litherland Tigers, Emma Hickson was surrounded by raging parents who started swearing at and verbally abusing the teenager.
"It was a bit of a shock for me because I've never experienced anything like that before," Hickson said, speaking to ITV, "I felt really isolated and it was quite frightening, to the point that I felt unsafe and I just had to walk away because of the abuse I was getting and the manner in which it all kicked off.
"It was not a pleasant experience for me to undertake. It's completely knocked me, to the point of worry if I stepped on to the refereeing field again.
"It's made me wary of incidents that can happen. My confidence was quite high and now it's been taken away."
The game took place at Whiteholme Playing Fields in Blackpool, during a tournament involving over 250 sides. Both clubs' sides were immediately expelled from the competition.
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