Football coach assaulted on touchline in mass brawl

Bo'ness assistant manager Gary Wilcox is treated after the incident. Picture: Alan Murray
Bo'ness assistant manager Gary Wilcox is treated after the incident. Picture: Alan Murray
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A “TOUCHLINE stramash” between two football teams in the Lothians has sparked a police search for a man who allegedly assaulted a coach.

The incident took place during Wednesday night’s Fife and Lothian Cup fixture between hosts Bo’ness United and Musselburgh Athletic.

It is understood a fracas broke out after a member of Bo’ness’ management was punched during the match at Newtown Park, which saw the home side emerge 4-2 victors.

The Evening News has been told the altercation occurred after the Bo’ness assistant manager, Gary Wilcox, intervened in a confrontation between a team-mate, who had been tripped up while preparing to take a throw-in, and a member of the Musselburgh Athletic backroom staff.

But Mr Wilcox was himself knocked to the ground, sparking a mass brawl which resulted in calls to police.

Spectators have taken to online forums to comment on the incident. One Bo’ness supporter posted: “Tremendous game against Scottish finalists and probably best team to visit all season.

“Game had everything – penalty, red card, superb goals. Even a stramash on the touchline which was building up between the two dugouts, and hearing police [were] involved.”

The Fife and Lothian Junior FA described the incident as “serious” and said those responsible could face fines and even match bans.

Mark Stevens, the association secretary, said: “The incident will be dealt with in accordance with the regulations and rules of the Fife and Lothian Junior FA.

“Within the laws of the game, the alleged offence carries a £50 fine. At the moment, the process is that the person involved has five days to appeal and then we would probably have to have a meeting to discuss if we want to do anything beyond a basic fining.

“I have heard of some players who have had bans for years and years because of the severity of their actions.”

A spokesman for Musselburgh Athletic said: “As police are investigating this alleged incident, it would be wrong for us to comment.”

No-one at Bo’ness United could be reached for comment.

Police Scotland officers have urged members of the public with information to come forward.

A spokesman said: “Police in Forth Valley are investigating an allegation of assault during a junior football match in Bo’ness.

“The incident is understood to have happened at around 8.20pm during a game between Bo’ness United FC and Musselburgh FC.

“Police wish to trace a man in connection with this incident and ask those with information to contact 101.”