Page last updated at 09:55 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Six red card player admits defeat

Paul Cooper
Paul Cooper said the ban had effectively ended his career

An amateur footballer who received six red cards in the same match has admitted his playing career is over after receiving a two-year ban.

Paul Cooper, 39, got a second yellow card for dissent while playing for Hawick United against Pencaitland in the Border Amateur League in November.

He then received another five red cards for verbal exchanges with the referee.

Mr Cooper said he loved football but would now have to "find something else to do on a Saturday".

The player, nicknamed Santa, said he realised it was his own fault he had got into disciplinary trouble.

"I completely overreacted after I had been sent off and I know I said things to the referee I should not have," he said.

"But I felt so frustrated as I honestly wasn't to blame for the incident that led to me being sent off.

A few mad moments have basically cost Paul his footballing career
George Shepherd
Hawick United manager

"After the game I went to see the referee in his dressing room and I apologised to him for losing it and he accepted the apology."

Mr Cooper said he was unable to attend a disciplinary hearing in Glasgow due to work commitments and then received a letter confirming his lengthy ban.

"Unfortunately I've been in bother before with bans and I expected six months," he said.

"But I was absolutely stunned when I got two years."

He added that he believed it had effectively ended his 22-year playing career.

He said: "I will just have to go with the flow, accept things and find something else to do on a Saturday."

'Matter closed'

Hawick United manager George Shepherd said he believed the two-year suspension was "way over the top".

"A few mad moments have basically cost Paul his footballing career," he said.

"He is a very good player and will be a big miss to Hawick United."

Hugh Knapp, secretary of the Scottish Amateur Football Association, said the matter had been properly dealt with under its disciplinary procedures.

"Mr Cooper was given the opportunity to attend a hearing but decided not to," he said.

"He was also given the opportunity to appeal to the Scottish Football Association and again chose not to do that so the matter is closed."

Mr Cooper's club Hawick United were also fined £150.



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