Police were called to a mass brawl which erupted at a junior football match when the referee awarded three penalties – in the space of five minutes.
A 52-year-old man was arrested after the shocking violence broke out an hour into the under 14s match between Halesowen Town Colts and Halesowen Harriers.
Witnesses said the trouble flared after ref Oliver Howard awarded a spate of contentious penalties and sent off two players within a few minutes.
"It was absolutely sickening. This was a children's football match and to see such violence was a shock for everyone. We all know parents and team management can get carried away but this was on another level"
He was attacked by angry supporters of one team before parents started brawling with each other in the middle of the pitch as children looked on in horror.
A 49-year-old man was taken to hospital and needed stitches for a head wound after being battered over the head with a walking stick.
Officers were called to the scene at Newfield Park, in Halesowen, West Mids., at around 1.55pm on Sunday March 19 and later arrested one man.
On Thursday one parent, who did not want to named, said: "It was absolutely sickening. This was a children's football match and to see such violence was a shock for everyone.
"We all know parents and team management can get carried away but this was on another level."
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "A man has been arrested following an assault at a Halesowen amateur football match.
"I'm as well as I can be after something like this. But I don't want to go into the details of the attack until the County FA had completed its investigations"
Referee Oliver Howard
"Police were called to Newfield Park, Whittingham Road at around 1.55pm following reports that a 49-year-old man had been assaulted.
"Officers arrested a 52-year-old man from an address in Halesowen at around 2.30pm. The man has been bailed pending further police enquiries."
Mr Howard added: "I'm as well as I can be after something like this. But I don't want to go into the details of the attack until the County FA had completed its investigations."
Brett Harrington, referees appointments officer, said: "We have a Respect officer whose team has been observing matches to see how the refs are treated.
"We are committed to bringing down the amount of abuse referees suffer from parents and players."