Ball boys who clashed with stars from Moyes time waster to Eden Hazard rebel

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West Ham boss David Moyes saw red last night for lashing out at a ball boy during their Europa League semi-final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt – but it's certainly not the first incident like it.

Moyes booted a ball towards one of the ball boys after accusing him of throwing it 'short' rather than directly to him, with the Hammers trailing late on.

It saw the Scot given a red card and sent from the touchline for the remainder of the clash which Frankfurt won 1-0 on the night, and 3-1 on the night to progress to the final against Rangers in Seville.

Moyes said afterwards: "I have to apologise for kicking the ball at the ball boy. He left it short, it was nicely on the volley for me, but I apologise for it.

“I didn’t hit him, I think I just bent it past him. He threw it very short when he could’ve thrown me the ball, he chose to leave it short but as I said, I apologise for that but it was a big game we were trying to win tonight.”

It is the latest in a long line of confrontations between players, managers and ball boys. Here, we look at some of the most memorable…

Eden Hazard – Swansea vs Chelsea

Probably the best-known incident involving a ball boy, this one made headlines around the world.

Chelsea were 2-0 down and about to be dumped out of the League Cup by Swansea City, during their semi-final in 2013.

As the ball rolled out of play in the 79th minute, ball boy, and Swansea fan, Charles Morgan, then 17, threw his body over the ball to waste precious time, prompting Blues' ace Eden Hazard attempt to kick the ball from underneath him, but instead making contact with Morgan.

The youngster, the son of Swansea's then-largest shareholder Martin Morgan, clutched his mid-drift in pain, and the capacity crowd at the Liberty Stadium, not to mention the Swansea players, erupted in fury. Hazard was then sent off by referee Chris Foy the Swans progressed to the final, where they lifted eventually lifted the trophy.

The pair are said to have apologised to each other in the dressing rooms afterward and Morgan, who became an online celebrity and picked up 100,000 followers on Twitter said: "Crazy 24 hours. Spoke to Hazard and I will not be pressing charges."

Charlie has since become a successful businessman after launching the popular premium Vodka brand Au Vodka which has been championed by the likes of Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather among others.

Cheick Diabate – Tranmere Rovers vs Exeter City

This extraordinary incident saw a ball boy having to be restrained by stewards after clashing with an opposition player on the touchline. It occurred during Tranmere's League Two clash with Exeter at Prenton Park last month.

With his side 1-0 down, defender Cheick Diabate sprinted to the byline to take a quick throw-in, however the ball-boy tossed the ball away to prevent this.

In response Diabate pushed the ball boy with both hands, causing him to stagger backward towards the advertising hoardings.

This enraged the ball boy who could be seen shouting numerous times as he followed the 20-year-old down the touchline. Stewards then became involved and escorted the boy away.

"I'm sure a Tranmere ball boy has just been ejected from the ground???" tweeted Exeter's official account after the incident took place. "An incident as Cheick went to retrieve the ball from a throw-in."

Diabate was booked for his part in the incident with many fans saying he was lucky the punishment was not more severe. He apologised on Twitter following the game saying: ""There was no need. I apologise for my actions and have sent an apology to Tranmere already.

""It was a heat of the moment thing, but you're right I should never push a kid like that. It’s something I will learn from."

A clip of the incident went viral on Twitter being viewed 1.7 million times. "And the prize for this season’s most lairy ballboy goes to… Tranmere Rovers" poster Dan Mason said.

Allan McGregor and Giovanni Van Bronckhorst – Celtic v Rangers

The Old Firm is one of the most intense rivalries in world football. However, the partisanship of the Celtic ball boys sparked uproar in the Rangers camp when the sides met at Celtic Park back in February this year.

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Reo Hatate gave the Hoops an early lead and TV footage showed two ball boys behind the goal jumping with joy before appearing to gesture towards Gers' keeper Allan McGregor as he picked the ball out of the net.

There were also instances of them appearing to delay throwing the ball back, even sometimes kicking it away as they extended their lead to 3-0.

Boss Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is said to have indicated his anger at the situation on the touchline and spoke to match referee Bobby Madden about it. The official then reportedly then spoke to a member of Celtic's matchday staff in a bid to get the youngsters in check.

Celtic legend Chris Sutton joked on Twitter afterward: “I’m hearing Rangers have put in a complaint to the SFA about the Celtic ball boys and want the game replayed…”

While former Rangers striker and manager turned commentator, Ally McCoist said: "I have to be quite honest I think the ball boys are doing Rangers a favour'."

Joe Hart – England vs Italy

England were 2-1 down against Italy and were looking down the barrel of defeat in their opening game of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Which probably explains goalkeeper Joe Hart's frustration at being unable to quickly re-start the game following a free-kick.

Andrea Pirlo's effort had clipped the crossbar and gone behind prompting then Manchester City stopper Hart to race behind the net in a bid to retrieve the ball.

However, he became angry at her believed to a delay in returning it, being picked up by the TV cameras screaming "Heeeeyyy, heeeeyyyy, give me the f****g ball!" whilst also kicking the advertising hoarding in frustration until a boy ball threw a new ball into his arms.

The game finished 2-1 and England finished bottom of their group and were eliminated after losing to Uruguay and drawing with Costa Rica in their next two games.

Hannah Hampton – Manchester City vs Aston Villa

A clip of this bizarre incident during a WSL clash between Manchester City and Aston Villa in November last year went viral online.

Villa keeper Hannah Hampton went to the advertising boards at City's Academy Stadium, and asked a ball boy directly for the ball to be thrown to her.

However, rather than obliging, the ball boy kept hold of it as the seconds ticked away, much to the annoyance of Hampton, who started remonstrating with the referee before the ball was finally handed over. Footage of the incident was viewed nearly 2million times with fans branding the ball boy 'cheeky.'

But Sky Sports commentator Jacqui Oatley later revealed she believed the ball boy had simply been following Covid rules in place at the time, which stated the fourth official must throw a ball back into play. The ball boy was subsequently praised for holding his ground and wanting to follow the COVID-19 regulations to the letter.

Kyle Walker – Manchester United v Manchester City

This was more a case of the player infuriating the ball boy than the other way round.

Manchester City, going for their first league title under Pep Guardiola's stewardship were attempting to run the clock down after going 2-1 up late at second-placed Manchester United.

However, City and England right-back Walker, who was waiting to take a throw-in, sent the Old Trafford crowd into a fury after twice kicking the ball away when the ball-boy had thrown it to him.

City then also famously kept the ball in the corner for several minutes in stoppage time, again much to United's ire, to hold on and claim the victory of their bitter rivals.

Jose Mourinho – Leicester vs Chelsea

Jose is famously not shy in venting his frustration after a defeat. And the Leicester ball boys became the target of his anger after Chelsea slipped to a 2-1 defeat at the King Power Stadium in December 2015.

He told Chelsea's official website after the game: “They (Leicester) fought with everything, they defended with everything, and the ball boys were amazing too.

“I say the point about the ball boys because it’s a disgrace for the Premier League, but I want to make it clear I don’t want that story to be in front of a result Leicester deserved.”

  • Premier League
  • West Ham FC
  • Rangers FC
  • Celtic FC
  • England Football Team
  • Tranmere Rovers FC
  • Exeter City FC
  • Aston Villa FC

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