BROTHERS Rob and Thomas Burroughs have been banned from playing football after violence erupted at Hereford Academy.

Herefordshire Football Association this week confirmed the punishments after a melee broke out at an organised five-a-side outdoor competition last month.

The pair, from Marcle Walk, Newton Farm, Hereford, both pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault when they appeared before magistrates in the city.

Herefordshire FA chief executive Jim Lambert says the brothers have been been banned from organised football but could apply for a reinstatement in three years’ time.

Mr Lambert said: “With serious matters like this, we would suspend a player with immediate effect until the case has been heard at court.

“Both men have now been banned from all participation in football for life but they will be allowed to apply for reinstatement after three years.

“It’s important that a clear message is sent out to all the referees in the county that a player is banned from playing football.

“The five-a-side football league where this incident took place is an affiliated league to the HFA, uses qualified referees and has its own routine suspensions in place.”

Rob Burroughs, aged 19, received four months detention, suspended for 12 months, after pleading guilty to two counts of assault in the incident which took place on January 12.

He was fined an £80 victim surcharge, £40 costs and compensation of £75 to Robert Read and told to pay £50 compensation to Jamie Gibbons. Thomas Burroughs, aged 18, pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault.

The first was a common assault on Robert Read and the second a section 39 assault on match official Stephen Field.

Magistrates handed Thomas Burroughs, who started the season at Westfields Reserves and played on a Sunday for Widemarsh, a 12-month community order to include 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to take part in a violence reduction programme and fined £225 in total.

The fines included £75 compensation, £60 victim surcharge and £40 costs for the assault on Mr Read and £50 compensation to Mr Field.

Mr Lambert added: “Thankfully, incidents like this in football circles in Herefordshire are isolated.”