Watch the moment a Leyton Orient player pushes a ballboy, who then falls to the floor, during their 2-3 League Two win at Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park on Tuesday night.
Footage has recently emerged of the incident which has seen Orient captain Liam Kelly banned for a toal of six matches by the FA after a disciplinary team reviewed the footage from PAFCTV.co.uk.
Club volunteer Jake McLean, 17, moved to roll the ball towards the corner flag as Kelly ran towards him, after the away side forced the set-piece in front of the Barn Park End.
The player then pushes the ballboy using both hands, causing him to fall over backwards.
McLean, who has reportedly been performing his role at the club since the age of ten, told the Plymouth Herald:
I went to Argyle on a normal Tuesday to just do my job there, it’s what I do for every home game.
I went to retrieve the ball to throw it out for a corner – I could see their number 7 walking over to get ready to take it.
And as I did that the Leyton Orient player came over to me and shoved me to the floor.
I didn’t feel as if I was going slow or having any impact on the game.
I was just doing it how I would normally.
I was just doing it the same way I would have done if it was an Argyle corner.
So for that to happen I just feel as if I didn’t have any respect from the player for doing my job.
He claims he didn’t see the oncoming Kelly until it was too late:
I’d bent over to pick up the ball and I didn’t even realise that Liam Kelly was there until I’d started trying to throw the ball.
It’s really when I was knocked to ground that I properly knew he was there and after the ball!
And says he hasn’t received an apology:
That’s what’s disappointed me even more is after the game he didn’t even try and find me to apologise or anything like that at all.
The worse thing about it is he is in the public eye of football. People all over the world are watching this.
It’s not just an impact on what’s happened now it’s got wider implications.
A lot of people are going to see what’s happened and then’s going to realise what he’s done.
However, Leyton Orient have released a defiant statement following the club’s unsuccessful appeal against the ban:
It was never the intention of Liam to be violent and he apologises profusely to both the ball boy and Plymouth Argyle.
The club strongly deny the accusation of violent conduct given to the player and reference an incident involving Matt Ritchie whilst playing for Swindon Town in a game against Oxford United on March 3, 2012, where the player was only cautioned for a similar offence.
In addition, an incident involving Eden Hazard during a Capital One Cup match on January 23, 2013 for Chelsea against Swansea City also took place, where the player not only pushed, but also kicked the ball boy in the ribs. This incident was heard by a Commission, where a three-game ban was deemed sufficient.
Due to this we feel that what happened on Tuesday with Liam is no more serious than the above cases.