A rugby league player suffered “catastrophic” brain injuries shortly after being assaulted by two opponents during a match, a court heard.
Christopher Hall had to undergo extensive surgery to relieve a blood clot on his brain and has sustained life-changing injuries.
Mr Hall has had to learn to talk again and has lost use of the right side of his body following the incident which happened during a match between amateur teams Kippax Knights and Pontefract club Nevison Leap.
Nevison players Gareth Dyas, 29, and Steven Lawrie, 32, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Leeds Crown Court.
Both men were given community punishments after the court heard a neuropathologist was unable to determine whether the blows struck by the men directly led to the injuries.
The court also heard Lawrie has been diagnosed with leukaemia since the incident.
Philip Standfast, prosecuting, said the incident happened during a friendly between the two clubs at Kippax Sports and Social Club on March 31 last year.
Lawrie lost his temper and punched Mr Hall several times when trouble flared between the two men. Lawrie was shown the red card and left the field.
Later in the game Dyas was sent off after he ran at Mr Hall and struck him in the face with his arm extended.
Mr Hall collapsed in the bar after leaving the field and began having a fit.
Lawrie, of Rookhill Road, Pontefract, was given 180 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £2,000 compensation.
Dyas, of Churchbalk Lane, Pontefract, was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also given 180 hours unpaid work and told to pay £500.
Lawyers for the men said they both were devastated and ashamed about what had happened.
Judge Neil Clark said: “This is probably as difficult a case I have ever come across from a legal point of view.”