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Sunday, February 1, 1998 Published at 08:06 GMT


Linesman knocked out by fan
image: [ Martin was unconscious for five minutes ]
Martin was unconscious for five minutes

A linesman has been knocked unconscious by a fan who ran on the pitch and attacked him during a First Division football match.

The injured official, Edward Martin, was carried off on a stretcher as Portsmouth's home match against Sheffield United at Fratton Park degenerated into chaos.

Mr Martin was said to be "comfortable" in hospital, where he was awaiting the results of X-rays. He was not expected to be detained.

The match was in first half injury time when Simon Tracey, United's goalkeeper, was involved in a collision outside his area with Portsmouth's Sammy Igoe.

The referee Mike Halsey consulted linesman Mr Martin, then gave Tracey a red card, ordering him off the field.

As new signing Shaun Derry got ready to replace him in goal and Portsmouth prepared to take the free-kick, Mr Martin crashed to the turf.

It was some minutes before the match could resume.

Police said later that a man had been charged with assault.


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