A 12-year-old boy who was struck by lightning at a Hertfordshire school is in a "serious but stable" condition, police have confirmed.

The child and a man in his 50s were hit at The Sele School in Hertford yesterday afternoon (October 2) during a district football tournament.

Headteacher Chris Quach told the Watford Observer that first aiders on site needed to use a defibrillator before the boy was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.

A Herts Police spokesperson confirmed he is now in a "serious but stable" condition.

The man in his 50s did not need a defibrillator, but he reportedly told staff the lightning strike “felt like being struck in the head with a big hammer”.

Mr Quach praised the “life saving” first aiders and community support. However, some parents online questioned why children were allowed to play football during a thunderstorm at the school.

Mr Quach said: “We don’t decide whether the event runs or not, we’re not the organiser. We notified the organiser at 3.15pm about the adverse weather, and it was up to them to decide whether to run it or not.

“Because they just use us, we’re a school that has a big field. We just happen to be the place where it happened.

“But actually we weren’t involved on any level. Our students aren’t involved, my teachers aren’t involved. If we were I would have cancelled it.”

The game took place amid a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms covering the area, but it is currently unclear who authorised the match to proceed.

The boy is a pupil at The Chauncy School in Ware, and its headteacher has said there should be an investigation into the incident.

“One of my students is seriously ill,” Dennis O'Sullivan told the Watford Observer. “We need to know what happened, and what lessons are learned to keep our children safe. I would like to know who is looking into this.”

Hertfordshire County Council has been asked by the Watford Observer whether it is investigating, and if not, who is. Updates to follow.