January 27, 1910
Joseph Roberts, fishmonger, of Waterloo-street, Oldham, was summoned at the instance of the Aston Villa Club at the Oldham Police Court yesterday, for assaulting Henry Hampton, the well-known centre forward on the occasion of the Cup-tie at Boundary Park on January 15.
Mr. Hulton, of Manchester, who appeared for the complainant, stated in the course of the Cup-tie between Oldham Athletic and Aston Villa, Hampton collided with an Oldham player, and immediately afterwards appealed to the referee for permission to change his clothing, which was torn. The permission was granted, and while Hampton was running along the railed passage leading to the dressing-room, the defendant, who was standing on the outside of the railing struck him with a very violent blow on the left eye.
Roberts was taken into the dressing-room by a police officer, and apologised to Hampton, and, later, wrote a letter to the Aston Villa committee stating he was excited at the time and regretted his action. Though the Aston Villa Committee did not wish to press the case they had come to the conclusion that it was of importance, and should be dealt with by the court in the interest of the game and of the spectators.
The consequence to the complainant had been serious. His eye had been considerably injured, and in addition to the pain, the blow had seriously interfered with his chance of playing in the cup ties.
Henry Hampton, whose left eye still bore the trace of severe injury, corroborated his solicitor’s statement.
Mr. Lees repeated that his client had apologised and said the defendant had known that Hampton was one of the best centre forward players in the British Isles and played an honest and good game, and was a man of good character. There was some excitement over an incident between an Aston and an Oldham player, and the defendant thought an injustice had been done to the Oldham player. It was a mistake made in hot blood and on the spur of the moment, when he thought the Oldham man was not being fairly treated.
The Chairman said the Bench saw the great importance of keeping order in those contests, and fined the defendant 20s. and costs.
(Manchester Courier: January 28, 1910)