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BBC Wales's Colette Hume reports
"The referee claims he was punched twice"
 real 28k

Punched referee Terry Lowrie
"The second one caught me square on the jaw"
 real 28k

Keith Cooper, referees' officer Wales FA
"Some of these refs get as little as 8 a game"
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BBC Wales's Sue Cass reports
"The Central Wales FA took the incident very seriously"
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Friday, 18 August, 2000, 19:04 GMT 20:04 UK
Footballer, 15, given life ban
Boys playing football
"Some footballers set children a bad example"
A referee has blamed the bad example set by top football stars after a schoolboy was banned from playing football for life for punching him.

The ban means 15-year-old Nick Taylor cannot play competitive soccer anywhere in the world.

The decision was backed up on Friday by Welsh referees' officer Keith Cooper, who said that referees at the grass roots of the game had to be protected.

There is no doubt that young players are taking their cue from the prima donnas in the Premiership

Referee Terry Lowrie
Referee Terry Lowrie was struck twice in the face at the end of a junior soccer match at Newcastle Emlyn in west Wales.

The six-foot schoolboy goalkeeper ran to the halfway line at full time to confront Mr Lowrie about his handling of the Under-15s league match, a disciplinary hearing was told.

He threw two punches at him, the first catching him a glancing blow on his cheek and the second hitting him full on the jaw.

Nick Taylor, banned for life
Nick Taylor: 'Deeply upset'
Salesman Mr Lowrie was badly dazed and taken to hospital where he was treated for bruises and scratches.

The teenager was playing for Aberaeron in a local derby against Newcastle Emlyn in the South Ceredigion Junior Football League.

He was sent off after his side had lost 5-2 and had three players sent off by the referee.

"There is no doubt that young players are taking their cue from the prima donnas in the Premiership they see on TV every week," said Mr Lowrie.

"They think that just because these professionals seem to get away with foul play they can do the same.

Terry Lowrie, injured referee
Terry Lowrie: Suffered assault

"Players like Roy Keane should be setting an example to young players instead of being sent off.

"I was shocked at the attack on me. I was walking off the pitch when this lad pushed through other players and just landed two blows on my face," he said.

The teenager's family have described the lifetime ban as "absolutely ludicrous".

Malcolm Eaton - secretary of the Central Wales FA disciplinary panel which imposed the life ban - said: "I'm shocked by the upturn in violence.

Punishment needed

"The player concerned did not bother attending the disciplinary hearing and there have been no apologies.

"A clean-up is essential for the future of the game," said Mr Eaton.

"Top players might be able to get away with illegal play but we will not allow it at this level.

"I was shocked when I was told how this young player had attacked the referee and the strictest of punishments was needed," he added.

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