Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp provides an update following an alleged fan incident that required stitches

Sharp, who was injured, did not play for Sheffield United in the play-off semi-final second leg. He watched on from the touchline when a supporter charged at him.

Billy Sharp in a file photo; Credit: [email protected]
By Karthik Raman | May 18, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


Nottingham Forest’s penalty shootout win over Sheffield United was marred by Billy Sharp being assaulted by a fan after the match got over. On the pitch, Sheffield produced a brilliant fightback to overturn a 1-2 first-leg deficit to level the tie 3-3 on aggregate and force extra-time, which eventually went to a penalty shootout. However, goalkeeper Brice Samba saved three Sheffield spot-kicks to send Forest to Wembley to play the Championship play-off final against Huddersfield Town on 29th May. The joyous fans spilled from the stands and invaded the pitch to celebrate the moment after their club edged closer to Premier League promotion.

However, the entire occasion was overshadowed by that one incident. Earlier, Sharp, who was injured, did not play for Sheffield United in the play-off semi-final second leg. He watched on from the touchline when a supporter charged at him. After the incident, a man has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of assault. Later, the 36-year-old forward took to social media to release a statement on the incident. The Sheffield captain congratulated the winning side and said that he will not let one fan “ruin my respect for the Forest fans.”

READ MORE – How Cooper guided bottom-placed Nottingham into Championship play-off final

One ‘mindless idiot ruined’ the night: Billy Sharp

“One mindless idiot ruined what was an unbelievable night of football,” Sharp wrote. “Congratulations to Nottingham Forest on their victory and good luck in the final. As an ex-Forest player I will not let one scumbag ruin my respect for the Forest fans. Incredibly proud to be captain of this group of Sheffield United players. They gave their all and can hold their heads up high. We will be back and go again. Thanks for all your messages and support after the incident.”

Meanwhile, Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom expressed his frustration at the incident, saying it is “upsetting for a lot of reasons.” After the game, he told Sky Sports, “I watch every Monday Night Football, every Super Sunday, my time up in Scotland, there has been so many people talking about seeing things thrown on the pitch, fans invading the pitch, seeing things that put players’ health and safety in danger. We’ve seen it. We know what has happened. It’s bang out of order. We’re the ones that suffer. It’s upsetting for a lot of reasons.”

Sharp needed stitches after the incident

Besides, Heckingbottom has revealed that Sharp needed stitches after the attack. “It’s assault,” he was quoted as saying by “We’ve seen one of our players attacked. 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 required] stitches, he was shook up.”

Earlier, Nottingham Forest had released a statement of their own, condemning the incident. The club statement read, “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.”



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