An angry football referee has called on dog owners to clean up after their pets after a game had to be stopped twice due to dog poo.

Chris Coyle, of Market Hill, Maldon, was refereeing a Chelmsford Premier League match at the King George V Playing Field in Heybridge.

Chris was forced to pause the game twice in the first ten minutes so that dog mess could be cleared away, even after officials had inspected the field.

Mr Coyle has called on the “irresponsible” dog owners to clean up after their pets to avoid safety risks to players and other field users.

He said: “As a referee I need to ensure the safety of players and I find it totally unacceptable that this is happening on a local football pitch.

“I understand that this is not a new issue but would appeal to the dog owners to clear up after their dogs. There is sufficient dog litter bins around this area so why they are not used is a mystery to me.

“It must be very frustrating for the Heybridge Social Club, based next to the field, to encounter this problem every Sunday they play on this ground.”

This is not the first time concerns have been raised about dog mess in the field.

In April, the Standard reported that residents’ concerns over the numerous piles of dog mess left around that resulted in their children getting splattered after only a few minutes of playing on the field.

Dad Chris Simmonds claimed the amount of mess left around could potentially cause health and disease risks for youngsters wanting to use the field.

At the time, a Maldon District Council spokesman said their community protection officers work in partnership with Heybridge Parish Council and park watch members to patrol this area and combat anti-social behaviour through education and enforcement.

The spokesman added that the council will take action against irresponsible dog owners using the law and has issued a number of fixed penalty notices to dog owners.