In pictures: the empty stadiums providing the backdrop to our sporting lives

A ball boy watches from the empty stands during MK Dons' Sky Bet League One match against Blackpool
A ball boy watches from the empty stands during MK Dons' Sky Bet League One match against Blackpool (PA Wire)
15:34pm, Thu 29 Apr 2021
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Sports fans have grown accustomed to watching the action played out in empty stadiums during the coronavirus pandemic.

Images of swathes of empty seats on television have made for strange viewing and it has been particularly surreal on matchday for the ball-boys and ball-girls up and down the country.

They have been the only ones privileged to watch from stands but instead of being part of a noisy crowd they have carried out their duties, often sat alone, against a backdrop of eerie silence.

Here, the PA news agency’s atmospheric images encapsulate the impact the fight against Covid-19 has had on our sporting lives.

A ball girl sits alone in the stands during Rotherham's home Sky Bet Championship match against Coventry (PA Wire)
A ball boy gathers a ball during MK Dons' home Sky Bet League One match against Blackpool (PA Wire)
Job done, the ball boy sits back in his vantage point from the Stadium MK stands (PA Wire)
A referee's assistant runs past during MK Dons' home defeat to Blackpool (PA Wire)
Room to spare for this ball boy at Hull's Papa John’s Trophy tie against Lincoln at the KCOM Stadium (PA Wire)
Rows of empty seats occupied by another lone ball boy at the MK Dons Stadium (PA Wire)

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