Ipswich Town striker Noel Hunt has revealed only intervention from his brother Stephen prevented him punching a Norwich supporter after last weekend’s Championship play-off semi-final.
Ipswich and Norwich played on Saturday with the winner earning a place in the play-off final at Wembley, and the possibility of promotion to the Premier League.
Noel Hunt and brother Stephen in action for Ireland.
Both Hunt brothers, who have also played for the Republic of Ireland, are currently with Ipswich Town and Noel described the incident after the side lost the match 3-1.
“When I went out to warm up a couple of times, one of Norwich’s older fans, mid 50’s, was shouting abuse at me,” he explained in a post on beanbagsports.com.
“When the full time whistle went, their fans invaded the pitch. As I walked across to applaud our fans I could hear him on the pitch shouting behind me. I thought, just give me one chance. I then thought, no, leave it.”
But the man was determined to abuse the footballer and followed Noel across the pitch as he went over to clap his own supporters.
“We owed it to the fans to applaud them and I threw my shirt into them. As I turned around, that guy was there. He was wanting to square up to me and I thought right, just hit him, just hit him as hard as you can.”
But Stephen saw what was happening and prevented what Noel admits would have been a terrible move by him.
“As I go to flinch, a hand grabs me,” Noel said. “It’s Stephen. He says just leave it. I don’t even know where he came from.
“That would have been the worst thing I could have ever done. Stephen stopping me was the right thing to do.”
Noel Hunt was only a right hook away from going down in #itfc folklore.— Staycasual (@Staycasual) May 20, 2015
Noel, 32, would love to stay at Ipswich Town next season, but doesn’t know if he will be kept on.
“I don’t know if I’ll be there next season,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s my last game with Stephen.
“I’ve just felt empty since the final whistle and still do. This club for me ticks all the boxes.”
His full post is well worth a read at beanbagsports.com.