The Birmingham City fan who ran on to the field to assault Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has been sentenced to 14 weeks in prison following the incident.
Grealish was assaulted from behind by Paul Mitchell, who evaded stewards to run on to the pitch during the Second City derby at St Andrew’s on Sunday.
The 27-year old pleaded guilty to entering the field of play and attacking the Villa captain which has seen him sentenced to 14 weeks in prison.
Mitchell also received a 10-year ban from all football stadiums as well as a £350 fine, £100 of which must be paid to Grealish as compensation for the attack.
The Aston Villa captain showed tremendous restraint following the incident in their win over Birmingham City and did not react as a number of players jumped to his defence.
Grealish then went on to score the winner in a moment of poetic justice during a game in which he was the stand-out player.
Aston Villa, The EFL and Birmingham City all condemned the act of violence with the home side outlining that the fan would be banned from their stadium for life
“What happened has no place in football or society. Jack is a Birmingham lad and regardless of club allegiance should not have been subjected to this – there are no excuses.”
The incident will continue to be discussed and dissected in the coming days by many in the footballing world and begs the question, should more be done to protect the safety of players on the field?
Had the fan in question been carrying a knife or any other concealed weapon or had he even caught Grealish cleanly, there’s no telling how dire the consequences could have been.
On the field Villa edge ever closer to sneaking into the playoff picture and with Grealish in form, it would be foolish to bet against them.