Football Referee Sends Off Eight Ball Boys In 'Fiery' Game

A football referee has been left to retrieve the balls himself in a match after he sent all eight ball boys off for "time-wasting".

Yeovil Town's ball boys were all sent off in the closing minutes of their 3-1 lower-league win over Bromley in England's football competition, leaving the referee to retrieve the ball himself, as the bemused English club and fans took to social media to discuss the bizarre end to the game.

"The referee has, no joke, just sent off one of our ball boys..." said Yeovil in a Twitter post on Saturday, which was retweeted by more than 2000 users, before adding: "Update: he's dismissed all of them."

Local media said referee Aaron Johnson had sent off one boy for not returning the ball to a Bromley player fast enough late in the National League (fifth-tier) match at Yeovil's Huish Park.

Yeovil Town in action against Mansfield Town in August. Photo: Getty

Yeovil wrote in a later match report that the ball boys had been dismissed due to claims of wasting time during the match.

"In a unique turn of events, the referee sent all the Yeovil ballboys to the stands due to claims of time-wasting," the team wrote.

The other boys followed soon after, leaving no-one to return the ball for the final minutes of the game, with Yeovil tweeting that Johnson himself had then been obliged to run to retrieve a ball.

"One ball boy delayed giving the ball back to Bromley's Sam Wood about 10 minutes from the end and was warned by the referee," reported BBC Somerset commentator Chris Spittles.

"But when the same ball boy repeated the trick shortly after the referee asked for them all to be removed. One steward was tasked with gathering them all in and leading them away down the tunnel."

"I've never seen anything like it."

Eight ball boys were sent off by the referee. Photo: Getty

Yeovil's match report called the match "fiery", with injuries and stoppages galore. Bromley's goalkeeper was "seemingly knocked out" in a collision with a Yeovil player, with both men tended to by medical staff on-field as the game waited through a 17-minute delay.

Yeovil said the referee "had struggled to control" the game at points.

If you're interested, Yeovil ended up winning 3-1.