Sheffield United footballer Billy Sharp slams ‘scumbag’ who headbutted him in playoff pitch invasion


Sheffield United footballer Billy Sharp slams ‘scumbag’ who headbutted the ex-Nottingham Forest star in playoff pitch invasion and says ‘one mindless idiot ruined an unbelievable night of football’

  • Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp was attacked by a pitch invader at the final whistle
  • The striker was floored by a Nottingham Forest fan in amongst the celebrations
  • This morning he branded him a ‘scumbag’  and a ‘mindless idiot’ in public post 
  • It has been confirmed that the 36-year-old had to receive stitches after collision
  • Nottinghamshire Police have arrested a fan on suspicion of assault 
  • Do you know who the arrested fan is? Email: dan.sales@mailonline.co.uk 

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Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp has branded the Nottingham Forest fan who headbutted him during a pitch invasion after the Championship play-off semi-final last night a ‘scumbag’.

The stocky supporter in yellow broke away from the celebrations to charge headfirst into Sharp who was standing with his arms crossed in the technical area at the City Ground.

Footage of the incident was captured live on Sky Sports and shows Sharp being floored having not seen his attacker coming.

Mr Sharp, who previously played for Forest, needed stitches and police have arrested a man, 31,  on suspicion of assault.

The footballer said this morning: ‘One mindless idiot ruined what was an unbelievable night of football.

‘Congratulations to Nottingham Forest on their victory and good luck in the final. As an ex Forest player I will not let one scumbag ruin my respect for the Forest fans.

Veteran striker Sharp had a spell with Nottingham Forest during the 2012-13 season


Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp was attacked by a pitch invader after play-off defeat

Billy Sharp posted his views on Instagram this morning after the incident late last night

‘Incredibly proud to be captain of this group of Sheffield United players, they gave their all and can hold their heads up high. We will be back and go again. Thanks for all your messages and support after the incident.’  

Forest vowed to ban the arrested man for life for one of the most appalling attacks on a player ever seen on a football pitch. 

Nottinghamshire Police’s 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 has called for the fan to be jailed.

He said: ‘Billy was minding his own business and he was assaulted, blind-sided. It was cowardly. Billy is shaken up and he needed stitches. We have the footage. We always see people talking about player safety but nothing is ever done about it.’

The incident last night was on the same touchline where Forest’s greatest manager Brian Clough famously began slapping and punching fans who took part in a pitch invasion in 1989. 

As fans spilled on to the pitch to celebrate their victory on penalties, one ran towards Sharp

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom was left furious by the incident involving Sharp

These events soured what had been a fabulous semi-final, with Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba the hero in the penalty shoot-out.

Samba saved three of United’s efforts – including the decisive one from Morgan Gibbs-White – to set up a Wembley meeting with Huddersfield Town on May 29, with the winner sealing promotion to the Premier League.

This is the second night in a row there have been problems at a play-off semi-final, after Luton boss Nathan Jones complained about Huddersfield fans’ behaviour after his side’s defeat.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom not only provided an update on Sharp, but he was left furious by incident and made it known in his post-match interview.

‘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. There’s a prison sentence there without a doubt.

‘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 upsetting for a lot of reasons – I don’t want to say too much more about it. He’ll be dealt with.’

Covering the game for Sky Sports, former Forest defender Michael Dawson condemned the incident, saying: ‘That is an absolute disgrace.’

Nottinghamshire Police said they were working alongside both clubs after making their arrest.

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.’



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