Nottinghamshire Police on Wednesday arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of assault after Sheffield United's Billy Sharp was attacked on the pitch at the end of the second leg of their Championship playoff semifinal at Nottingham Forest.
Forest supporters ran onto the pitch when the hosts sealed a 3-2 win on penalties, after the tie was locked 3-3 on aggregate. Television cameras showed an individual approach Blades striker Sharp on the sidelines and attack him.
Hope Billy Sharp is alright. When slowed down you can see how bad it is. Head on head contact. Ban for Life and a prison sentence at the least… #twitterblades #sufc pic.twitter.com/JV2uDLNYuZ— Ben Lambert (@benlambert514) May 17, 2022
Sharp — who had a loan spell at Forest in 2012-13 and did not feature in the game at City Ground due to an injury — was left bloodied and needed stitches after the incident, Blades manager Paul Heckingbottom said.
"It's assault. We've seen one of our players attacked. He's shook up, bleeding, angry," Heckingbottom added.
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Nottinghamshire Police chief Inspector Paul Hennessy said in a statement the suspect would be questioned further in custody.
"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," Hennessy added.
Forest said in a statement that they were "appalled" by the incident and promised to ban anyone found guilty for life. They also apologised to Sharp and his club.
Forest will face Huddersfield Town in the playoff final on May 29 to earn promotion to the Premier League.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)