A father accused of pushing over his seven-year-old son during a football match claimed the youngster ‘tripped over his feet’.
The footage, from a Welsh Under 8s game, caused controversy after it appeared like the boy’s father pushed him over to save a certain goal.
However, Mailonline tracked down the over-enthusiastic touchline parent, Phil Hatfield, 35, to ask him about the push that has so far been viewed by more than 6m people on the net.
Phil Hatfield, left, from Aberystwyth, claims his son Osian, right, ‘drifted off’ while playing in goal for the first time. He said he ‘nudged’ his son who then ‘tripped over his feet’
Mr Hatfield is seen walking into the goalmouth and shoving his six-year-old son, Osian, into the path of an advancing opponent.
In the video, the boy, making his goalkeeping debut for Bow Street Magpies U8s against local rivals Llanilar in Ceredigion, west Wales, collapses to the ground and blocks the striker’s low shot.
But his parry is struck home by Llanilar. As the ball goes into the net, Mr Hatfield turns away in disgust.
Mr Hatfield, who works at a plumbers’ merchant store in Aberystwyth, said: ‘Osian wasn’t concentrating and he’d drifted out of position as the attack came.
‘I was telling him to stand in the middle of the goal but he couldn’t hear me and walked towards me as their player advanced.
‘I was shouting by now that he needed to move towards the ball quickly to make the goal seem smaller to the opponent but it was too late so I gave him a little nudge to persuade him to move towards the player.
‘It wasn’t a shove as such. He just tripped over his feet and went down.’
The man can be seen talking to his son as the other team take a shot towards goal – prompting the father to push the goalkeeper over
Incredibly, the young boy manages to save the shot because of the push – but is unable to save the rebound, prompting his father to turn away in disgust
Mr Hatfield, a former Bow Street Reserves midfielder, said Osian and his team mates only started playing football six weeks ago and it was his first time in goal.
‘The coach likes to rotate positions so they all get experience everywhere on the pitch and it was Osian’s turn in goal. We were 2-0 up at that point, but we lost 2-4.’
But he insists his ‘not a shove as such’ has not deterred his son from putting on the keeper’s jersey.
‘He’s been selected for tomorrow’s game and he says he wants to go in goal again. He’s desperate to show that he can do it. I think my enthusiastic attempt to get him in the right position for their first goal might have affected his confidence a bit and he let three more in.’
The good news for Osian is that his father will not be at the next match. ‘I’ve got to work, so I won’t be there,’ said Mr Hatfield. ‘And I’ve promised him that next time I watch, I will not even talk to him, let alone step over the touchline.
‘I’ve had a bit of stick online but in the main, people have seen the funny side. ‘But most importantly, Osian is loving his football. He’s always really disappointed when training or matches are called off because of bad weather.
‘He won’t let his dad’s moment of stupidity put him off football, that’s for sure.’
The video was uploaded to Twitter by Chris Wilkins who said that the match was between Bow Street Magpies FC and Ysgol Llanilar FC.