Referee opens up on horrific attack that left him with broken nose

When Joe Stearne was attacked in a lower league game between Milford and Oulton, the rugby league world stood back in horror.

And, now the referee has done an in-depth interview with Brian Carney in Sky Sports’ Off the Cuff program, detailing just what happened that fateful day.

“In the first-half there wasn’t much there, but I put one player in the sinbin,” Stearne said.

“He said he would see me in the car park afterwards so I reversed the decision and gave him a red card and he made a beeline for me.

“That’s when he threw a few punches and then luckily all the players got involved and rag me apart.

“My shirt was torn off my back, I had cuts and bruises and I later found out that I had broken my nose.

“I was trying to keep as cool as possible in this situation – my actions in the heat of that moment could have changed the outcome.

“I eventually got in touch with the RFL to get the ball rolling, and the police came to the ground and took my statement and then I went to hospital.”

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