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‘He’s shook up’ – Man arrested following on-field assault on Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp

A man has been arrested on suspicion of assault after Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp was charged at during a pitch invasion by Nottingham Forest fans.

Supporters flooded onto the field at the City Ground following their win on penalties in the Championship play-off semi-final, and footage shows a man clattering into the striker – appearing to lead with his head – while Sharp was standing on the touchline, watching on.

His manager, Paul Heckingbottom, gave the impression he avoided serious injury, but was shaken up and “angry”.

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Forest have condemned the incident and apologised personally to Sharp – who played for the club on loan during the 2012/13 season – while also confirming the fan will be given a lifetime ban if found guilty of an offence. He missed the game through injury, but watched from the sidelines.

A statement from chief inspector Paul Hennessy from Nottinghamshire Police 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.”

The incident took the shine off a famous night in Forest’s recent history, reaching Wembley for a chance to return to the Premier League for the first time since 1999 by setting up a meeting with Huddersfield.

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“We’ve seen one of our players attacked,” said Heckingbottom after the match at Forest’s City Ground. “He’s shook up, bleeding, angry.

“Bill was minding his own business off the pitch, trying to get our players away. He was blindsided, it was cowardly. He was knocked to the ground [and needed] stitches, he was shook up.”

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