The referee who knew the score

Share
Related Topics
Today we are bringing you a football yarn for boys! So here we go, here we go, here we go then with a story entitled:

A THROW TOO FAR

There were 10 minutes left in the vital match between Mudcastle City and Sanderhoe United. These two mighty Premier League teams had both been tipped for the Championship this season, but had not met in the league until this crunching, pulsating, bone-tingling encounter.

The stadium rang with the massed cheering of both sides. The Mudcastle fans were unable to believe that their heroes would not go marching on undefeated till the end of the season. The Sanderhoe supporters waved flags and banners, like members of an all-conquering army who know that no foe on earth can prevail against them.

Yet on the pitch it was nil-nil with 10 minutes to go. There had been several narrow escapes at both ends. Joe Adagio, Mudcastle's brilliant Italian-born goalkeeper, had had to dive right at the feet of Sanderhoe's young international, Billy Kyle, in order to stop him scoring and had received a blow on the head which had knocked him out for a minute, but much to the relief of the fans he had elected to play on. At the other end, a header from Jim MacMuckle, City's £10bn bargain buy from Scotland, had crashed against the woodwork, frightening many of the woodworm sleeping the winter away in the crossbar, but had bounced straight off again.

Now, with only 10, no, make that nine, minutes left, the scoresheet was still clean. The referee was already preparing for a first look at his watch when a roar broke from the crowd as Billy Kyle cleverly evaded a tackle from Mudcastle's veteran captain John Scholar OBE (he had received the OBE not for his football exploits but for jumping in the crowd at an away game and rescuing a small child from a mad, runaway, drug-crazed foreign footballer - see issue No 48) and broke free of the offside trap, finding only one defender and the goalie between him and the open goal.

The defender in question was the redoubtable Charlie Grayson, who had a fierce tackle in either foot. However, he also had a couple of recent sendings-off to worry about, so it was a comparatively restrained Grayson who scythed tentatively at Billy Kyle's kneecaps - and missed!

Now he had only the goalie to beat. He saw Joe Adagio coming towards him. He saw that he only had to go round him to score. He also saw, to his amazement, Joe's arms go round his knees in a rugby tackle and felt himself fall headlong.

Penalty!

The referee, bespectacled customs official Herbert Trapp, pointed to the spot and turned away in the traditional manner to avoid the furious protests of the other Mudcastle players.

Billy Kyle was chosen to take the penalty kick.

Joe Adagio faced him tensely, standing on his muddy goal-line.

Joe had a problem.

It wasn't the problem of facing the penalty kick. It was the fact that he was due to receive £20,000 from a gambling syndicate if Mudcastle lost this game, and this might be his last chance to give a goal away. He just had to let the ball in.

Billy Kyle placed the ball carefully and looked up at the goal. He also had a problem. He was due to receive £25,000 if he arranged it for Sanderhoe to lose. He just had to miss this penalty. It would be fatal if they went ahead now.

The whistle blew. Kyle ran up and blasted the ball wide. Unfortunately he had instinctively put a bit of curl on it, and it drifted back in and caught the post on the inside, bouncing thence into the goal.

Kyle, horror-struck, was surrounded by delirious team-mates. Adagio, ecstatic, was comforted by his fellow defenders.

Kyle stood to lose £25,000, which he badly needed to pay off gambling debts. Adagio stood to gain £20,000, which he needed for an expensive weekend in London.

Then they both stood thunderstruck as the referee blew the whistle and pointed back to the spot. He wanted the penalty taken again!

"Why?" demanded Scholar OBE, the Mudcastle captain. "Goalkeeper moved before the ball was kicked," said the ref.

In vain did the Sanderhoe side plead. The referee insisted that the kick be taken again. But it took so long for the teams to line up again that before the penalty could be retaken it was full-time and the ref blew for the end of the game, and a nil-nil result.

The referee came in for much criticism later, but he knew exactly what he was doing. After all, he had this game down on his pools coupon for a no-score draw.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Piper Ryan Randall leads a pro-Scottish independence rally in the suburbs of Edinburgh  

i Editor's Letter: Britain survives, but change is afoot

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Some believe that David Cameron is to blame for allowing Alex Salmond a referendum  

Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?

Mark Steel
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam