A FOOTBALL manager believes he witnessed the silliest red card in his life after one of his players was allegedly dismissed for wishing the referee a Merry Christmas.
Josh Norton was playing for Hereford City when he received a second yellow card during his side's 10-1 mauling by Ludlow Town Colts in the HFA County League Division One match.
Norton was accused of swearing following a tackle he made with a Ludlow player.
After pleading his innocence, Norton allegedly wished the ref a Merry Christmas and was duly sent off.
"There was a 50/50 tackle that two players went for and the ref decided to give a free-kick to Ludlow," explained Hereford City manager Chris Marshall.
"The players got up off the floor and apparently someone swore.
"However, it was neither of the two players involved.
"The ref swore blind it was my player and I said no it wasn't.
"He was also playing in front of his son and he said he would never swear in front of him.
"He then told the ref, 'fair enough, Merry Christmas' and he gave him a red card.
"It was the most stupid red card I have seen in my life.
"Too many referees don't want to talk to players and, as manager, I tell my lads that only the captain or myself can speak to him.
"I think a lot of power goes to the ref's heads, but if they want respect from the players, then they need to give some back."
Herefordshire FA Chief executive Jim Lambert comfirmed Norton was sent off for two yellow cards.