Footballer punched by fan on pitch during match

Jack Grealish punched: Aston Villa midfielder hit by fan on pitch during derby with Birmingham City

Footballer Jack Grealish has been attacked by a spectator as his side Aston Villa clashed with local rivals Birmingham City in a Sky Bet Championship match.

The incident occurred less than 10 minutes into the game when Grealish was in the Birmingham penalty area and a spectator in a flat cap ran on to the field and threw a punch from behind the visiting captain, striking him on the side of the head.

The intruder was quickly restrained by stewards as several other players rushed in to confront him. He was led away by police, blowing kisses to the crowd as he left.

West Midlands Police confirmed a man had been arrested following the incident.

Grealish appeared unhurt and was comforted by team-mates and opponents.

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Jack Grealish attacked on the pitch
A man believed to be a Birmingham City supporter ran onto the pitch during the Championship clash with Aston Villa and punched midfielder Jack Grealish in the face.The supporter was seen live on television running onto the pitch and hitting Grealish from behind in the head, before being dragged away by security.The disgraceful incident came in the ninth-minute of the Second City derby at St Andrews, and leaves Birmingham facing a Football Association investigation for failing to control their fans.West Midlands Police have confirmed that a man was arrested following the incident and has been taken into custody.A post on the West Midlands Twitter account read: “ARREST: Following the incident on the pitch involving an attack on an Aston Villa player; a man has been arrested and en route to a custody block. Further details to follow.”Grealish did incredibly well to keep his composure and not react to the assault, and his teammates Glenn Whelan and Tammy Abraham initially confronted the attacker before thinking better of retaliating, with security eventually apprehending and removing him from the pitch.And fate would have a fresh twist in the 67th minute when, of all people, Grealish rifled in a low left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area to beat goalkeeper Lee Camp and put Villa ahead.> You could not write it! 😲 > > After being punched by a fan in the first half, Jack Grealish opens the scoring for Aston Villa against Birmingham! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/EiBedIL2U1> > — Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) > > March 10, 2019The 23-year-old celebrated by leaping into the away end to join the Villa supporters, where he lost a boot and received a yellow card for his efforts.As he left the field, the man celebrated to the Birmingham City fans and blew kisses to the supporters before being passed on to police.The incident drew a number of shocked and concerned messages from past and present footballers astonished at what they had seen.Manchester City and England midfielder Raheem Sterling wrote on Twitter: “Idiot of the year…congrats on your lifetime ban.”> Idiot of the year... congrats on your lifetime ban https://t.co/ocr8RBVzWZ> > — Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) > > March 10, 2019West Ham midfielder Declan Rice wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely disgraceful what just happened to Jack Grealish.”Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam said: “Twice in three days we’ve seen players attacked by supporters, what is going on? Football needs to stamp this out quickly. Only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.”> Absolutely disgraceful what just happened to Jack Grealish😡> > — Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) > > March 10, 2019Cardiff City’s Harry Arter, on loan from Bournemouth, added: “Would love to see Grealish to score the winner!!”
Riesen-Eklat beim Birmingham-Derby in der englischen Championship: Im Spiel zwischen Birmingham City und Aston Villa rannte ein Fan in der 10. Minute auf das Spielfeld und attackierte Villa-Kapitän Jack Grealish von hinten.Der Mann, der eine Mütze trug, schlug Grealish von hinten gegen den Kopf, bevor er von Sicherheitskräften überwältigt werden konnte. Der 23 Jahre alte Villa-Kapitän ging zu Boden. Der Randalierer wurden anschließend an die Polizei übergeben und abgeführt. Der Mann warf, während er abgeführt wurde, Kusshände ins Publikum.Die Polizei von West Midland erklärte via Twitter, sie habe im Zuge der Attacke auf Grealish einen Mann festgenommen. Ob es sich um den Täter handelt, ist noch unklar.Grealish konnte trotz der Attacke weiterspielen.
Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was punched in the face by a pitch invader during Sunday's English Championship (second-tier) derby match at Birmingham City.
Le jeune milieu de terrain d'Aston Villa Jack Grealish a été lâchement attaqué par un supporteur lors de la 36e journée de Championship.
Soccer Football - Championship - Birmingham City v Aston Villa - St Andrew's, Birmingham, Britain - March 10, 2019 Aston Villa's Jack Grealish sits on the floor as the fan that attacked him is restrained by a steward and Aston Villa's Glenn Whelan Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Jack Grealish of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City v Aston Villa at St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium on March 10, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
A fan is held is held after attacking Aston Villa's Jack Grealish (left) Birmingham City v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship - St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium 10-03-2019 . (Photo by David Davies/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)
A fan is held is held after attacking Aston Villa's Jack Grealish (left) Birmingham City v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship - St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium 10-03-2019 . (Photo by David Davies/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)
A fan attacks Aston Villa's Jack Grealish on the pitch (right) during the Sky Bet Championship match at St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium, Birmingham. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: A fan is escorted off the pitch after striking Jack Grealish of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Aston Villa at St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium on March 10, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Jack Grealish of Aston Villa is helped up by Lee Camp and Michael Morrison of Birmingham City after colliding with a pitch invader during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Aston Villa at St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium on March 10, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
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Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville called on the authorities to throw the book at Birmingham, tweeting: "The club are going have to take a huge punishment for this to act as a deterrent in the future . A Points deduction or Empty stadium for 10 games !"

Former England striker Gary Lineker branded the attack "abhorrent", adding on Twitter: "Well done @JackGrealish1 for keeping his cool."

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice was quick to react to the incident, tweeting: "Absolutely disgraceful what just happened to Jack Grealish".

Brighton defender Shane Duffy added: "That is a disgrace."

There also appeared to be angry clashes between fans before the game at St Andrew's.

The attack on Grealish following a number of high-profile incidents of crowd trouble in Scottish football.

In Friday night's 1-1 draw between Rangers and Hibernian at Easter Road, Gers captain James Tavernier found himself face to face with a fan who had jumped out of the home support before being led away. Police later confirmed a 21-year-old man had been arrested.

That incident came six days after a glass bottle was thrown from the same section of the stadium as Celtic's Scott Sinclair prepared to take a corner in a William Hill Scottish Cup game and on top of a series of missile-throwing incidents this season.

Stoke's former Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam tweeted: "Twice in three days we've seen players attacked by supporters, what is going on? Football needs to stamp this out quickly. Only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt."

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