Police arrest man over Sheffield United captain’s attack
The Nottinghamshire police have arrested a 31-year-old man in connection with an assault on the captain of Sheffield United, Billy Sharp, at the Nottingham City Ground, yesterday The Trumpet gathered.
Sheffield United, after sustaining a defeat at the championship playoff where they lost 3-2 on penalties to Forest, were being guided off the pitch by Sharp before the incident happened.
Several reports state that Billy was on the sideline of the pitch guiding the Blades out to the dressing room when his attacker invaded the pitch and hacked him down.
Reviewing the footage, the Nottingham police swung into action and arrested a man who has been taken into custody for interrogations.
“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,” Chief Inspector Paul Hennessy briefed the press.
“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,” he added.
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In a statement by Sheffield United manager, Paul Heckingbottom, Sharp was actually minding his business when he was attacked unaware, resulting in an injury that needed stitches.
Heckingbottom said, “We’ve seen one of our players attacked. He shook up, bleeding, and 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 required] stitches, he was shaken up,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest have apologised to the Blades and Billy Sharp over the ugly incident which they described as appalling.
The club assured of their full cooperation with the police authorities to bring the penetrator to justice adding that the culprit will be banned for life from City Ground.
“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’s official statement read.
“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 statement concluded.
Sheffield United were defeated 2-1 in the first leg of the championship playoff at Bramall Lane and recorded a 2-1 win in the second leg at City Ground, resulting in a 3-3 aggregate that proceeded into penalties which Forest finally won 3-2.