A COWARDLY attack on a young referee has left the promising whistleblower shocked and disgusted.
Gladstone detectives have vowed to find the gutless thug.
Zac Wilson, 20, said he was shocked by the attack on him after an A-grade rugby league match at Calliope.
He said he was ambushed from behind as he made his way to his car after refereeing the Calliope versus Brothers A-grade game on Saturday.
He suffered minor injuries in the attack around 8.30pm.
All police have to go on is that the attacker was wearing a dark jumper and grey pants.
Gladstone CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey slammed the actions of the spineless attacker.
He has called on the public to assist with identifying the thug.
"It's an absolute disgrace, a person like this," Det Snr Sgt Peachey said.
"(Mr Wilson's) travelled up from NSW to assist Gladstone in refereeing. He's refereed a game to the best of his ability, whether they agree with the decisions or not.
"He's approached his car after the game and this person, (who) hasn't even got the gall to approach him to his face, has king hit him from behind and has left him with some injuries.
"So what we're doing is calling upon people who were out there or who may know who this person is, to please either let us know or to ring Crime Stoppers immediately."
Mr Wilson, who was back at work on Tuesday after the weekend incident, was disappointed with what had unfolded but was determined to get back onto the field, eager to help raise the standard of local league.
"At the end of the day I'm not out there to blow penalties," Mr Wilson said.
The young official, who has future NRL aspirations, praised the level of the Gladstone competition, with former professionals raising both the A-grade and reserve-grade fields to some of the strongest he'd adjudicated for.
He said he would be straight back out in the middle next weekend when he returned from a family holiday in NSW.
QRL Gladstone operations manager Casey Bromilow said the person responsible, once identified, would be subject to a judicial process to determine their punishment, reiterating the actions of the attacker were completely unacceptable.
Anyone who may be able to assist police should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Gladstone Criminal Investigation Branch on 4971 3244.