David Malcom has sent a chilling warning to Irish League football fans: Drive the thugs out or it curtains for the local game.
The Bangor referee is adamant a player or official will suffer a serious injury — or worse — if “mindless idiots” aren’t stopped from indiscriminately throwing missiles onto the pitch.
Since the start of the season there have have been several reported incidents of objects thrown onto the pitch.
Linfield, Glentoran and Portadown have all been punished for a variety of incidents but Malcom has every sympathy with the clubs who continue to be hit by fines.
Northern Ireland fans shopped one of their own when he threw a coin which stuck a referee’s assistant at Windsor Park in March and Malcolm believes that is the only way forward.
“That guy was pointed out to stewards and he has since been prosecuted and suitably embarrassed,” said Malcolm.
“But why does that not happen in the Irish League? Until the majority of genuine supporters stand up and shop these idiots, I fear there could be a serious incident.
“Decent fans can stop this but if not, I don’t think it will be long before a game is played behind closed doors.”