A football team has been fined and given a points penalty – because they pulled out of a match just hours after their manager suffered a stroke.
Middlefield Wasps boss Graham Norrie branded amateur league chiefs “heartless” last night as club officials revealed they plan to appeal against the sanction.
Mr Norrie was taken ill on the eve of his side’s scheduled fixture with Continental – and ended up in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
The 52-year-old’s wife Rhona had to dial 999 after he collapsed at their Kingswells home.
Mr Norrie had all the team’s match day gear, including strips, nets and first aid kits, at his house.
Worried players did not know how serious Mr Norrie’s condition was and Wasps chairman Mark McCready phoned Continental and the Aberdeenshire Amateur Football Association to cancel the fixture.
But he claims league bosses suggested they ask his wife to meet them at the couple’s home so she could hand over the equipment to allow the Division Three fixture to go ahead.
Mr Norrie, who works at Hunting Energy Services in Fordoun, had to make a 50-mile round-trip in his car on the day he suffered the stroke.
He said: “I woke up about half four in the morning feeling unwell, but didn’t think it was anything too serious.
“On the drive I began feeling pains down my left side and by the time I got there I was almost falling out of the car.
“I thought I’d have a cup of coffee and feel better but I kept getting worse and worse.
“I went back home and collapsed on the settee before my wife phoned the ambulance and they took me to hospital.”
Mr Norrie, who has been an amateur football coach for the past 20 years, was told by paramedics he had suffered a “mini-stroke” and remained in hospital overnight.
He still cannot drive after his ordeal and has not returned to work yet.
He said: “The last thing on my mind after it happened was football.
“I just can’t understand why the association are acting like this. All we wanted was to reschedule the game.
“Continental were ok with it too. It just seems heartless.
“It makes you wonder if they’d have done the same if I’d died.”
The fixture with Continental had been due to be played on Valentine’s Day, and the Aberdeenshire Amateur Football Association has now fined Middlefield Wasps £100 and awarded three points to Continental.
Mr McCready, 33, said last night the decision had left “a sour taste” and the club would be appealing to the Scottish Football Association.
He said: “The first I heard about it was when Graham’s wife phoned me in hysterics saying he had suffered a suspected stroke and was being rushed to hospital.
“So I took the decision to cancel the game there and then because we didn’t know how serious it was.
“I told the team, who were all very supportive, and the Continental team were also behind the decision, wishing him all the best.
“All the equipment was at his house so there was no way we could play.
“But the league asked me to see if his wife would meet us at his house to get the equipment.
“My response was ‘you must be joking’. To ask me to bother her like that when her husband has just had a stroke?
“Our solution was to reschedule the game, but they had other plans.
“What’s really upsetting is how long Graham has been associated with amateur football, he’s so well known in the league, and they go and do this.”
Brian Christie, association secretary of the AAFA, said he could not comment as an appeal had been launched.