Euphoric celebrations accompanied Nottingham Forest’s dramatic progress to the Championship Play-Off final, but they were soured by a vicious assault. Following the victory, stewards were powerless to stop the pitch invasion and one fan used it to headbutt Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp.
Sharp was looking on with sadness after the defeated on penalties by Nottingham Forest, following a heroic three penalty saves from Brice Samba. As is becoming increasingly common, the Forest fans took to the pitch in their delight mobbing many of the players.
One fans was caught on camera making taking a considerable run up and headbutting the unsuspecting Sharp, knocking him over entirely.
Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp was attacked by a fan during the pitch invasion after Nottingham Forest defeated his side on penalties.
[Warning: graphic content] pic.twitter.com/uOHdrrbNnP
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 17, 2022
The incident didn’t take long to go viral and gain the condemnation of the Twitter-verse. Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom also came out and condemned the actions, claiming that “it’ll be dealt with.”
“It’s assault. We’ve seen one of our players attacked.
He’s shuck up, bleeding, angry. It’ll be dealt with.”
Hecky on Billy Sharp. pic.twitter.com/bgbLoFjr3s
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) May 17, 2022
It’s worth wondering what wider effects this could have on security at football matches. Generally it appears there has been an upturn in the frequency of pitch invasions and while this on the whole is an expression of joy, if the safety of players and staff is put in jeopardy, it won’t take long for the authorities to come down with harsher restrictions.