What was referee Darren Deadman doing during Southend United's game at Fleetwood Town?

Darren Deadman making the gesture which angered Blues' travelling fans

Darren Deadman making the gesture which angered Blues' travelling fans

First published in Sport by

SOUTHEND United fans were left pointing the finger at referee Darren Deadman after he appeared to aim an obscene gesture in their direction during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Fleetwood Town.

Disgruntled supporters complained to nearby stewards and gave statements to the police claiming Deadman raised two fingers towards them in the 28th minute of the match at the Highbury Stadium.

And Blues supporter Chris Bent was among those on the terrace stunned by what he saw.

“It happened right in front me and it came after someone shouted out ‘Deadman, you’re s**t as always’,” said Bent, 40, from Pitsea.

“He had his back to the Blues fans and with his left hand rubbed the back of his head with two fingers to give the crowd the V sign.

“He then turned and smirked at us and he knew full well what he’d done.

“His guard slipped and he had a human reaction.

“The abuse wasn’t that bad but I’ve never seen an official do that before and many of the supporters around me were quite put out by it.”

That included Rayleigh-based Ian Holmes, who revealed the incident happened after a Blues fan had earlier been ejected from the ground for swearing after Anthony Straker had had an early goal ruled out for Paul Sturrock’s side.

“I’m sure the referee will say he was scratching his head but there should be an investigation in to this,” said Holmes, 49.

“He needs to explain his actions and it was hard to take after a Southend fan had been thrown out for swearing.”

Lifelong Blues fan Dan Clark, 34 from Stockport, added: “Deadman should be suspended while the incident is looked into, because what he did was absolutely appalling.

“What he did was inciting the crowd and he 110 per cent meant it, I’m sure.”

The Echo also understands that members of the Southend coaching staff complained to the fourth official at half-time about how Deadman (pictured above) was talking to the players.

Blues were not willing to comment on the matter while both Fleetwood Town and Lancashire Police were unavailable for comment.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:12pm Mon 10 Dec 12

JoeBlogs2 says...

Will looking at the highlights of the game

Mr Deadman was having a bad Game ... maybe he was saying to the Southend fans you should be 2 Nil up now ..lol
Will looking at the highlights of the game Mr Deadman was having a bad Game ... maybe he was saying to the Southend fans you should be 2 Nil up now ..lol JoeBlogs2
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Mon 10 Dec 12

JoeBlogs2 says...

JoeBlogs2 wrote:
Will looking at the highlights of the game Mr Deadman was having a bad Game ... maybe he was saying to the Southend fans you should be 2 Nil up now ..lol
Well looking at the highlights of the game Mr Deadman was having a bad Game ...

maybe he was saying to the Southend fans you should be 2 Nil up now.. ..lol

Sadly this is Divsion 2 Footie and Mr Deadman will get away with it
[quote][p][bold]JoeBlogs2[/bold] wrote: Will looking at the highlights of the game Mr Deadman was having a bad Game ... maybe he was saying to the Southend fans you should be 2 Nil up now ..lol[/p][/quote]Well looking at the highlights of the game Mr Deadman was having a bad Game ... maybe he was saying to the Southend fans you should be 2 Nil up now.. ..lol Sadly this is Divsion 2 Footie and Mr Deadman will get away with it JoeBlogs2
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Mon 10 Dec 12

supershrimper says...

If it was aimed at the Southend fans then of course it was not acceptable, but is it really right for fans to shout abuse and swear at him throughout the entire match and then complain when he makes an ambiguous "gesture"?

More to the point, why was the second goal disallowed? I watched it on the Football League Show and couldn't even work out which pass was offside,
If it was aimed at the Southend fans then of course it was not acceptable, but is it really right for fans to shout abuse and swear at him throughout the entire match and then complain when he makes an ambiguous "gesture"? More to the point, why was the second goal disallowed? I watched it on the Football League Show and couldn't even work out which pass was offside, supershrimper
  • Score: 0

5:53pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Doughnut says...

If supporters are gonna give it, they've got to take it aswell. Don't go crying to the Police etc. Still, it's unprofessional and he'll get into trouble for that. Another poor decision...lol
If supporters are gonna give it, they've got to take it aswell. Don't go crying to the Police etc. Still, it's unprofessional and he'll get into trouble for that. Another poor decision...lol Doughnut
  • Score: 0

6:43pm Mon 10 Dec 12

sufc.dodger says...

I think anyone in a position of authority has a duty to behave in a manner befitting their position and as a referee he must realise that in an emotionally charged environment any poor decision he makes will upset one end of the fans. He acted inappropriately and should face any consequences for his actions. If a police officer swore back at an alleged offender he would certainly be severely reprimanded. It is the responsibility of the police and/or stewards to control the behavior in the ground and if Mr Deadman felt he was getting abuse then he has every right to follow the correct procedures and make a formal complaint and not take matters into his own hands and retaliate...which he would certainly give a red card to any player who did that on the pitch.
I think anyone in a position of authority has a duty to behave in a manner befitting their position and as a referee he must realise that in an emotionally charged environment any poor decision he makes will upset one end of the fans. He acted inappropriately and should face any consequences for his actions. If a police officer swore back at an alleged offender he would certainly be severely reprimanded. It is the responsibility of the police and/or stewards to control the behavior in the ground and if Mr Deadman felt he was getting abuse then he has every right to follow the correct procedures and make a formal complaint and not take matters into his own hands and retaliate...which he would certainly give a red card to any player who did that on the pitch. sufc.dodger
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Mister_C says...

Ooohh those poor sensitive fans. They give as much verbal abuse to the ref as they like - he makes a subtle gesture and they are all shocked and hurt!

Typical of today's society.

Reality check time - grow up, and move on.
Ooohh those poor sensitive fans. They give as much verbal abuse to the ref as they like - he makes a subtle gesture and they are all shocked and hurt! Typical of today's society. Reality check time - grow up, and move on. Mister_C
  • Score: 0

8:40pm Tue 11 Dec 12

EssexPerson says...

So freaking typical, fans abuse the players/refs but go crying to the police/officials when they retaliate. Grow up, stop insulting them or accept it when its given back.
So freaking typical, fans abuse the players/refs but go crying to the police/officials when they retaliate. Grow up, stop insulting them or accept it when its given back. EssexPerson
  • Score: 0
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree