Billy Sharp was allegedly assaulted after Nottingham Forest beat Sheffield United on penalties, and Nottinghamshire police have made an arrest following the incident
Nottinghamshire Police have made an arrest after the alleged assault on Sheffield United star Billy Sharp, after a rival fan ran onto the pitch.
The incident occurred after Forest had beaten the Blades on penalties in the Championship play-off semi-final on a dramatic night of football. With emotions running high, the City Ground pitch was invaded after Brice Samba’s penalty save saw the home side clinch victory.
But following the incident, an investigation was quickly launched by police following the assault at the City Ground and Nottinghamshire Police have stated that an arrest has been made.
Chief Inspector Paul Hennessy, of Nottinghamshire Police, said in a statement: “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.”
It was a brilliant game between both sides, who drew 3-3 on aggregate over the two legs before penalties were needed. And Forest eased through after a poor start to the shootout by the Blades, who saw their first two penalties saved.
Emotions were running high, but it all seemed rather tame until the celebrations turned sour after one supporter charged at full pace towards Sharp, who was standing at the sideline before being wiped out with no warning. The footage has since circulated on social media.
Blades boss Heckingbottom said: “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.
“We’ve seen one of our players attacked. He’s shook up, bleeding. 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.”
And Forest released a statement after the game, as they wrote: “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.”