After receiving a death threat on twitter, Super League referee Roberts Hicks has met up with the fan concerned to highlight the worry caused to his family by the online message.
Warrington chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick helped set up the meeting which Hicks felt was necessary to make a more effective point.
The Wolves’ supporter, who was also contacted by local Police, has been given a suspended banning order by the club for the comments made on Friday 31st May.
In light that lessons had been learned from the meeting, the fan will now be able to continue his support for Warrington and has expressed his gratitude at the outcome.
“I don’t want anyone to think I’m making light of this – the incident caused significant worry and upset to my family,” said Hicks.
“But having discussed the matter with Karl and also the police, we thought we could make a more effective point by meeting face to face with the individual concerned.
“We did that at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, and although it was a difficult experience for all of us, I think we all left the room thinking it had been a worthwhile exercise.”
Wolves’ CEO Fitzpatrick was full of praise for Hicks following the meeting, saying: “Robert Hicks deserves a lot of credit for responding in this way, and we were happy to play our part.
“Everybody knows that we have been a bit edgier with our own use of social media this season, with the very clear aim of changing and raising the image and profile of the club and the Super League competition.
“But that brings a responsibility to make absolutely clear that certain things remain completely unacceptable – and this was very clearly an example of that.
“We’re not the only club who has had to tackle this sort of issue this season, and I think the vast majority of supporters would concede that the levels of abuse that match officials have to receive is unfair.
“We want more people – boys and girls, men and women – to want to become match officials, and that’s only going to happen if we change the culture through the game, and make it clear that they have to be treated with respect.
“We also want the Halliwell Jones Stadium to be a safe, welcoming place for children and families, and all of our supporters have a responsibility to play their part in that.
“That’s the point of the RFL’s Enjoy the Game campaign, which Warrington and all the other Betfred Super League clubs are right behind.”