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'Machete terror' at football game: Team trapped in dressing room after player's jaw is broken

By Nevin Farrell

A football team was trapped in changing rooms after a match in Co Antrim following reports a man was wielding a machete outside.

A club official said it was "scary" and confirmed the shocking incident came just minutes after a spectator ran onto a pitch and broke the jaw of one of their players with a punch, causing the game to be abandoned.

Holywell Football Club from Antrim town were playing away to Galgorm Blues in a midweek Ballymena Saturday Morning League match and had just scored a late goal to lead 2-1 before the violence erupted.

A Holywell FC official, who did not wish to be named, said: "A guy came running on from the touchline and assaulted one of our players.

"The match was abandoned near the end of the game.

"After the game the Galgorm players came into our changing room and told the rest of our boys that were still there not to go out to the car park because the guy had gone to get some sort of a weapon.

"It was a very scary situation. I never heard of anything like this in my life. We must have been there for five or 10 minutes. The Galgorm boys went out and checked that he was gone and we just took our chances and left.

"To be fair Galgorm were good about it. The whole thing was stupid and unnecessary and should not happen on a football pitch.

"A lot of people have been taken aback by the whole thing. It could have been nasty.

"The whole team are disgusted by what happened. We knew straight away that the player's jaw was broken and we took him to the hospital straight away. It was just a terrible thing to happen."

A Galgorm Blues spokesman said the club did not wish to comment.

A source said: "There was an incident in the match but that was it. I don't know anything about after the match.

"During the match there was an incident. One of the visiting players hit a home player and it just sort of kicked off.

"The man who ran on was just a spectator."

Police confirmed a man was arrested following the disturbance at Galgorm near Ballymena.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of grievous bodily harm following an assault on a 40-year-old man at sports grounds on Galgorm Road, Ballymena, on April 15.

"He was released on bail pending further police inquiries."

Police also received reports regarding a machete but nothing was found during follow-up searches.

Belfast Telegraph


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