Watch: Fan chases referee off pitch in Port Vale match

Referee chases fan
The Port Vale fan appeared to object to one of Hicks's decisions

Port Vale are investigating after a pitch invader chased the referee during their 1-0 defeat to Portsmouth.

The League One side condemned the actions of the supporter, who entered the field of play after referee Craig Hicks had given Portsmouth a penalty late on after Abu Kamara was brought down by Conor Grant in the area.

Colby Bishop scored from the spot in the 88th minute before a fan stormed onto the pitch and charged towards referee Hicks.

The match official ran towards the touchline as he made his way off the pitch as the fan continued their pursuit before being held back by Port Vale manager Andy Crosby and coach David Dunn.

Port Vale said in a statement: “Port Vale Football Club condemn the actions of the individual who entered the field of play during today’s match against Portsmouth.

“We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure the matter and the individual is dealt with a zero tolerance approach.

“We remind all supporters that entering the field of play is a criminal offence.”

The incident came in the first match after pop star Robbie Williams was named president of the club.

New Port Vale President and Pop Star Robbie Williams watches play during the Sky Bet League One match between Port Vale and Portsmouth at Vale Park on January 27, 2024 in Burslem, England
Lifelong Vale fan Robbie Williams was in attendance - Getty Images/Gareth Copley

“My life is bizarre and wonderful and has taken many turns and twists and to find myself from the Railway Paddock to be ‘El Presidente’ is pretty special,” said Williams.

“It feels as though I need to be doing more in and around this place.”

Port Vale co-owner and chair Carol Shanahan said: “Grateful for everything he does for PVFC and that he’s always there for me when I need him – a great friend.”

“Some days your job just isn’t a job. It’s an honour and a joy.”

Portsmouth remain top of League One while Port Vale are just one place above the relegation zone in 20th.

In a statement, the EFL said: “Match officials should never feel threatened for their safety when playing a pivotal role in the staging of games in our competitions.

“We will provide our full support to Craig and his team alongside Port Vale and the relevant authorities as they seek to bring this individual to justice.”

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