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Sunday league goalkeeper who knocked out a referee pleads guilty to grievous bodily harm

6:32 am AEDT 26/3/19
Referee
The shot-stopper reacted angrily after a penalty was awarded against his side

A Sunday league goalkeeper who has been banned from playing football for life after knocking out a referee has pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.

Horsford United's Aaron Wick punched Karl Smith after the official awarded Feltwell FC a penalty during their match in September last year. 

As well as being rendered unconscious by the blow, Smith suffered a broken cheekbone which had to be repaired with a metal plate that was permanently inserted into his face. 

Fans stopped 36-year-old Wick from leaving the pitch while they waited for police to arrive, and he admitted what he had done as soon as the authorities were on the scene.

Referee Smith told Magistrates: "I cannot remember what was said but I was making a note in my notebook to record the score, the next thing I remember is a policeman kneeling next to me asking if I was okay.

"All this was within the first 35 minutes of the game," Smith added.

Wick's past disciplinary record has seen him receive 10 cautions in the past, and included a report of misconduct against an official in 2015.

The court heard he had tried to make amends for his actions against Smith, including by undergoing hypnotherapy treatment for his aggression. 

Horsford currently sit eighth in Division 3 of the Anglian Combination League, nine steps below the National League. 

Wick will appear in court again to be sentenced at a later date.