Following Sheffield United’s Championship play-off semi-final defeat to Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp appeared to be head-butted by a fan. The embarrassing scenes occurred after the conclusion of the semi-final second leg, when celebrations erupted following Forest’s 3-2 penalty shootout victory over The Blades after the tie had ended 3-3 after extra-time.
Brice Samba, the Forest goalkeeper, saved decisive Morgan Gibbs-White penalty, causing a barrage of fans onto the pitch.
Soon afterwards, video emerged showing a bright yellow-clad supporter charging directly towards Sharp and knocking him down.
Sharp, who was a member of the Forest team in 2013-14, was said to have needed stitches after the incident.
A man has been arrested, according to Nottinghamshire Police.
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Inspector Paul Hennessy said:
“A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with this incident. He remains in custody and will be questioned by officers.
“Our enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the incident are ongoing. We have spoken to the player concerned and we are working with both clubs who are supporting us with our investigation.”
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom called for the culprit to be jailed in a statement after the match
He told Sky Sports: “There’s a prison sentence there for sure. We’re seeing things thrown on the pitch and things that are thrown on putting players’ health and safety in danger and nothing’s ever done about it.
“There will be something done about that. We’ve seen what’s happened, we know what’s happened.”
“How can you come to a place of work minding your own business and be assaulted in that fashion? It’s just bang out of order and it’s everything that’s wrong. Too many times we hear people condemn it, but nothing’s done about it. We’re the ones that suffered.
“It’s assault. We’ve seen one of our players attacked. He’s shuck up, bleeding, angry. It’ll be dealt with. It’s upsetting for a lot of reasons – I don’t want to say too much more about it. He’ll be dealt with.”
Nottingham Forest released a statement apologizing to Sharp and Sheffield United
They said: “The club will work with the authorities to locate the individual in order they are held to account for their actions, which will include a life ban from Nottingham Forest.
“The club would also like to apologise to Billy personally and to Sheffield United.”