Hashtag United footballer 'nearly blinded' by rogue firework on pitch

Match held on Bonfire Night was abandoned after a firework exploded near Matas Skrna

Hashtag United player struck by firework

The founder of Hashtag United football club has said a firework that exploded on the pitch during a match held on Bonfire Night could have "blinded" one of his players.

The incident occurred as Hashtag United's reserve team played Concord Rangers reserves on November 5 at the Len Salmon Stadium in Basildon, about 55 kilometres east of London.

The Essex Senior League Reserve Division One game was abandoned after the firework exploded near Matas Skrna.

A video of the incident was later posted on the club's Twitter account.

A club representative said a volunteer went to a nearby house and asked the residents to halt their firework display.

The display continued and the match was abandoned, after which the fireworks stopped, the representative said.

Hashtag United is a football and esports club in Essex. It was formed in 2016 by presenter and social media personality Spencer Owen.

The club has a men's team that plays in the eighth tier of English football and a women's team that plays in the fourth tier. More than 500,000 people subscribe to its YouTube account.

Mr Owen tweeted after the incident that Skrna could have suffered a serious injury as a result of the incident.

"Yet another reason to add to the list of reasons to sack off fireworks," he said.

"Dog owners know exactly what I'm saying. Glad Matas is OK.

"A few inches different and our lad could have been blinded. Not the only football game something like this happened at last night either."

The club said the police had been notified.

Updated: November 7th 2021, 6:59 AM
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