Football fans were praised for their behaviour after a derby football match in Weymouth was dramatically halted due to a medical emergency.

The Easter Monday match between Weymouth FC and rivals Yeovil Town was abandoned in the second half as medical staff attended to a person in the crowd.

Although the abandonment disappointed the nearly 5,000 fans who attended the match, Weymouth's club chairman Paul Maitland said: "Sometimes things happen that are bigger than a game of football."

He added: "That person’s welfare is of higher importance to anybody than a game of football at the moment."

Mr Maitland also thanked both sets of supporters 'for the way they handled themselves in leaving the game, accepting the situation'.

Players exited the pitch in front of a packed Bob Lucas stadium of 4,712 around 2.53pm when the Terras were a goal ahead in the clash.

Around 15 minutes later stunned fans looked on as the air ambulance landed on the pitch.

It was also reported that the streaming service National League TV had stopped the transmission of the game, replacing it with a holding screen whilst the incident was being dealt with on the pitch.

It was believed that the game could continue following the departure of the air ambulance, however at 3.42pm, the football club announced that the game had been abandoned due to the medical emergency.

A hushed silence fell on the crowd as it was announced the match was to be abandoned with Weymouth 1-0 up and 13 minutes remaining.

Bournemouth Echo:

The statement, posted to social media platform X, said: “Due to a medical emergency that took place in the stadium this afternoon, we can confirm that today’s game has been abandoned.

“Our thoughts go out to the casualty and their loved ones.”

Fans took to X to pass on their thoughts to the family involved. 

X user, @bees4ever7 said: "So sorry to hear this, how awful. Thoughts with all concerned."

User @groundhop1927 echoed this comment, saying: "Football irrelevant when things like this happens. Thoughts with everyone affected."

Fans then made an orderly way out of the ground, a stark contrast to the electric atmosphere before the game started.

Bournemouth Echo:

One fan who was at the game said the air ambulance arriving was ‘a sad sight.’

They said: “Whilst it is one of the biggest games in the calendar and we were all over them, these things are more important - I hope they’re okay.”

Another added: “It looked serious when the air ambulance came down. I don’t know what happened, but I hope the person is okay.”

The Echo understands that the person had been taken away from the ground.

After the game, Weymouth released a statement from club chairman Paul Maitland on social media platform X commending fans on the way they handled the situation in the ground.

Bournemouth Echo:

He said: “Unfortunately late on in the game there was a medical emergency that has required an air ambulance to attend which caused the game to be halted while that person receives medical treatment and is now on the way to hospital."

He added that due to the length of time following the halt of play, the referee deemed that the game needed to be abandoned and the club is in contact with the National League over the next steps. 

Mr Maitland continued: “As a club, what I would like to do at this point is offer my best wishes to the person that unfortunately fell ill at today’s game and wish them a speedy recovery and apologise to those who have been affected by the events of today’s game.

“It’s one of those circumstances that you just have to deal with and we wish them well and I thank both sets of supporters for the way they handled themselves in leaving the game, accepting the situation.

“It’s very unfortunate but sometimes things happen that are bigger than a game of football. That person’s welfare is of higher importance to anybody than a game of football at the moment."

Bournemouth Echo:

Yeovil Town manager Mark Cooper said a ‘sensible decision was made’ regarding the abandonment of the game speaking after the game on X.

He said: “First thing is, we hope the person is okay - that is the main thing.” He added that the narrative of the club would be that they did not want to play following the players exiting the pitch.

A spokesperson for the visiting club expressed the club’s thoughts going out to friends and family, wishing the person a speedy recovery.

As the match was abandoned, FA rules would state that the game will be replayed in its entirety at a date to be determined.

Mr Maitland said: “It’s not a situation we are used to so, at the moment, the game has been abandoned.

“Whether the game has to be replayed or what action comes next will be deemed by the National League and the National League board and I’m guessing because of the point in the season that we are that the decision will be made quite promptly.”

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and South Western Ambulance have been contacted for comment.