‘The worst assault I’ve seen on a football pitch’ – ‘Thug’ attacks Billy Sharp

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There were some disgraceful scenes following Sheffield United’s defeat to Nottingham Forest in their Championship play-off semi-finals.

Forest booked their place in the final at Wembley in a nail-biting penalty shootout.

Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba was the hero on the night as he saved three penalties in the shootout

Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba was the hero on the night as he saved three penalties in the shootout

But things soon took a sour turn with Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp on the receiving end of a brutal assault

But things soon took a sour turn with Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp on the receiving end of a brutal assault

Brice Samba’s save to deny Morgan Gibbs-White won the tie and it sparked a rapid pitch invasion from thousands of Forest fans.

The celebrations were largely done in good spirits, however, there were some unsavoury scenes by the Blades’ technical area as substitute Sharp, a former Forest player, was taken out by a man charging at him.

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom said: “It’s assault. We’ve seen one of our players attacked.

“He’s shaken up, bleeding, angry. It’ll be dealt with.”

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest said in a statement: “Nottingham Forest Football Club are appalled to learn that our former player, Billy Sharp, was assaulted leaving the pitch after tonight’s match at The City Ground.

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 Football Club.”


The vile attack on Sharp hasn’t sat well on talkSPORT hosts Jamie O’Hara and Jason Cundy, who want the perpetrator to have the book thrown at him.

O’Hara said on The Sports Bar: “It’s a disgusting incident. We talked about it before we’ve even seen the incident and this is what we are talking about. It is unsafe, it is shocking and it needs to stop.

“The pitch invasions have got to stop because something like this is going to happen and it has.”

Cundy added: “First of all I hope Billy Sharp is okay, shocking, shocking images. The guy runs at him at pace, he’s a big boy and Billy Sharp doesn’t see him coming.

“It’s assault. Worst case it’s a body charge, that’s being kind, it looks like a headbutt.

“It’s a disgraceful thing to see, it’s shocked me watching that. That’s a prison sentence right there, that’s the way I see it. That is an assault.

“He’s in a lot of trouble that fella.”

Police and stewards were powerless as fans swarmed onto the pitch

Getty

Police and stewards were powerless as fans swarmed onto the pitch

Cundy later added: “He doesn’t see it coming, he’s relaxed, he turns his head and this thug – he’s a big fat thing as well – puts his big, bald head right in Billy Sharp’s face at pace.”

Thankfully it appears Sharp will make a full recovery from the incident but O’Hara hopes the authorities will take the measures needed to ensure an incident like this doesn’t happen again.

O’Hara said: “This is what annoys me in English culture, something doesn’t get done until it’s too late. We react to an incident that happens but it needs to be stopped straight away.

“It is the worst assault I’ve seen on a football pitch. It’s shocking.”





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