Footballer, 16, feared career was over as rogue firework hit pitch and exploded on ankle

A young footballer feared his career was over after a firework landed on the pitch during a match and hit his ankle.

Matas Skarna, 16, from east London, said it felt his “leg had exploded” when he was playing for Hashtag United on Friday.

Video footage shows fireworks skidding across the astro turf as they explode around Matas’s legs.

He can be seen jumping to dodge them before he falls to the ground.

The other players appear to run out of the firing line in time.

It’s thought the fireworks came from a nearby private display.

Matas – who only joined the Essex team three weeks ago – said: “It just felt like my leg had literally exploded.

“The pain for 10 seconds was bad. At first I did not know what had happened.”

The goalkeeper ran to his aide and tried to soothe him while they waited for the club’s physio who said a hospital trip wasn’t required, the BBC reports.

While the firework exploded near his back heel it only burnt his sock and left red, itchy dots on the skin.

The match against the Concord Rangers was abandoned soon after.

Spencer Owen, founder of the semi-professional Isthmian League club, said club personnel had visited a house nearby to ask occupants to wait until after the match to light their display.

The incident was reported to the police.

Reports of firework related accidents on Bonfire Night were high with emergency services staff targeted in attacks.

Police in Manchester reported injured officers and damage to vehicles after people threw fireworks.

In another incident, a taxi driver and firefighters were blasted with fireworks and multiple street fires were set alight in Manchester.

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