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Horrific fireworks incident halts match between Waterford and Shamrock Rovers

Horrific footage of a fireworks incident halts the League of Ireland match between Waterford and Shamrock Rovers on Bonfire Night.

Play was halted at the RSC on Friday evening with a video going viral showing a number of fireworks exploding in the middle of the pitch around players with reports stating they were thrown from the away end.

The images show Waterford’s Anthony Wordsworth go down to the ground after it appeared one of the fireworks had hit him.

The game then surprisingly restarted after an eight minute stoppage with Shamrock Rovers going on to secure a 3-1 win.

Gardai reportedly removed two fans from away end when referee Rob Hennessy took both teams off the field of play.

At half time PA announcement was made saying: “The referee has stated that if there is any more anti-social behaviour, the game will be abandoned.”

Waterford took an early lead through John Martin after 12 minutes and it remained the same scoreline with 25 minutes to go – before ending 3-1 to Shamrock.

Waterford FC tweeted: “Players being taken off the pitch by referee Rob Hennessy – visiting supporters setting off fireworks on the pitch.”

Shamrock Rovers were crowned champions last Friday night for the second year on the bounce, with Stephen Bradley’s winning back-to-back titles for the first time since the 2010/2011 season.

The incident comes as Dundalk announced last week that any fans caught with pyrotechnics at matches will face a lifetime ban.

Watch what happened as the game was aired live on TV below:

The player who was hit, Anthony Wordsworth, was thankfully fine to continue playing the match, but fans are furious that the game wasn’t abandoned there and then.

Wordsworth started his career at Colchester United where he graduated from the youth system to the first team, making nearly 200 appearances in an eight-year spell with the club.

He joined Ipswich Town on the 30th of January 2013 for £100,000 on a two-and-a-half-year deal, with the option of an additional year.

On his full debut for the club, Wordsworth cracked three vertebrae in a collision with Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks and was forced to spend the weekend in hospital. He scored his first goal for the club in the defeat to Hull on 13 April 2013, his first EFL game back after that injury. He was released by the club at the end of the 2014–15 season.

He went on to make appearances for Rotherham, Crawley, Southend, AFC Wimbledon and Barnet – the latter as recently as 2020.

Twitter users reacted as the horrific fireworks incident halts the match between Waterford and Shamrock Rovers…

@MsChelsea101: Fuck me hope he’s okay

@FrostyFrosty_: The craziest part of this happening in Waterford is that fireworks are illegal in Ireland. You can get a prison sentence for possession. You even need a license for party poppers.

@byrneconor: That game should have been abandoned. Safety of players, officials and supporters in jeopardy

@Micklyons33: 10 point deduction for fan behaviour would quickly sort out out crap like that

@jmpschooley: What the shit is wrong with people?

@DirtyBogToe: Absolute muppets, you’d blind someone

@EvilJackeen: You can see exactly where they’re being lit from in that stand. Hope cops got them

@browneindo: Those idiots will probably end up costing Rovers around 100k, when they’re made play a few games behind closed doors

@CiaranMcQuaid2: That’s shocking lifetime bans and charges needed there along with a massive fine and points deduction

@Gillco01: Unfortunately every club has young lads who go to games and have zero interest in watching the game. Mind you I have never seen behaviour this stupid and dangerous.

@SirDemios: Buffons. Have they no respect for their own players, nevermind the other fans in the ground?!?

@seanfhealy: @ShamrockRovers unfortunately have have ‘some’ scum fans that shouldn’t be allowed in any ground in Ireland

@GalwayGlutton: Rovers shouldn’t be allowed bring fans to away games until they sort out their scumbag element.

@ValMcCormack: Assholes! Should be banned for life!

@PaddyFogarty23: Absolute disgrace, and they wonder why everyone hates them

@RM1872_: Typical shamrock rats

@KLocoBCFC: Bunch of weird weird cnuts.

@InkyFingersInc: Probably reasonable that @ShamrockRovers get docked points for this and the culprits be prosecuted. This is very clearly reckless endangerment #loitv #leagueofireland

@Olumes58: You will have to wonder what goes on in people’s head.

@DN35GTFC: Enjoy playing behind closed doors. Morons.

@Calvey94: What goes through someone’s head to think this is a good idea, even worse when you realise they are set off from the stands. Could have done some real damage to a player or fan

@HazeKing12: Absolutely appalling, just shows that fireworks need to be banned!! I hope they get caught… PRICKS!! #Fireworks

@KenLyons79: Same old Rovers fans!

@Markochief: Absolutely reprehensible behaviour the fan in question should be banned for life & charged for assault. Oo by the way it doesn’t absolve Waterford here how does he get the fireworks into the ground.

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