Fan arrested after ‘headbutt’ leaves Sheffield United captain needing stitches

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Sharp was out of the United squad due to a calf injury and was left with a bleeding lip.

“It’s loose and he was knocked to the ground,” Heckingbottom said. “He had stitches and is shaken. His safety was endangered at a workplace. We have the footage and something will be done about it. Bill was minding his own business off the pitch, trying to keep our players away.

It is the second fan attack to take place at the City Ground in just over three months after a Leicester City supporter was found guilty of assaulting three Forest players in the fourth round game of the FA Cup.

Forest were not punished on this occasion but will likely be punished by the FA, who in 2019 fined Birmingham City £42,500 after one of their fans attacked Jack Grealish in their league game against Aston Villa.

Tuesday’s incident came as Forest fans took to the pitch to celebrate their victory over United, which secured their first trip to Wembley in over 30 years. Forest won a dramatic 3-2 penalty shoot-out after a 3-3 draw which precipitated a pitch invasion.

Forest issued a statement after the match, which read: “Nottingham Forest Football Club is appalled to learn that our former player, Billy Sharp, was assaulted while leaving the pitch after tonight’s game at the City Ground.

“The club will work with the authorities to locate the individual so that he is held accountable for his actions, which will include a lifetime ban from Nottingham Forest. The club would also like to personally apologize to Billy and Sheffield United Football Club.

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