A well known UK rugby referee was reportedly leaving a wedding reception early Sunday morning and got into an argument with a woman in her 50s at a line waiting for cabs. That woman’s 87-year-old mother then tried to step in and break things up (or smooth them over) and the stocky ref, Steve Ganson, allegedly threw a punch at granny.
When the dust had settled, Ganson had been arrested and granny was in the hospital with broken pelvis, broken and dislocated shoulder and various cuts and bruises.
The Super League official was later forced to withdraw as a match’s video referee because he was still in police custody. Ganson, 40, was being quizzed over the alleged drunken assault on frail Florence Shields and her daughter Linda, 54, during a hotel wedding reception around 12.30am yesterday. Last night, victim Linda said she was “disgusted” at his conduct.
She said: “He is a 40-year-old man who swung his fist at my mother, who is 87, 8st and just over 5ft tall. What can you say about a man who does that? “He was drunk, very aggressive and just looking for a fight. I do not believe he should be allowed to referee another game.”
As she spoke, Florence was being treated at Whiston Hospital in St Helens, Merseyside, with a broken pelvis, broken and dislocated shoulder and extensive bruising. Linda, from St Helens, told how trouble flared outside the Holiday Inn in Haydock Park where she had been attending the wedding reception of her nephew Andy Shields. Ganson was with another woman guest who had been asked to leave, following a row.
As Linda tried to act as a peacemaker in the taxi queue, she claims that Ganson turned on her. She said: “He pushed me to the floor and when my mother tried to speak he swung his fist at her.”