Sheffield United's Billy Sharp responds as man is arrested in connection with pitch attack 

The Blades captain was standing on the sideline after his team lost on penalties to Nottingham Forest in the Championship play-odd semi-final.
Sheffield United's Billy Sharp responds as man is arrested in connection with pitch attack 

Sheffield United's Billy Sharp before the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final, second leg match at the City Ground. Photo credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Warning: Graphic imagery of incident below*

Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp has spoken out after he was attacked by a fan after their penalty shootout loss to Nottingham Forest in the Championship play-off semi-final last night. 

The crowd stormed the pitch after the shoot-out, and footage caught on camera in the aftermath has left a sour taste for football fans around the world.

In reponse to the incident, Sharp said: "One mindless idiot ruined what was an unbelievable night of football.

"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."

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom was not one bit happy with the incident and has called for greater sanctions for the fan involved. 

"Billy was minding his own business and he was assaulted, blind-sided. It was cowardly. Billy is shaken up and he needed stitches. We have the footage. We always see people talking about player safety but nothing is ever done about it.

He continued: "There will be something done about that. We've seen what's happened, we know what's happened. There's a prison sentence there without a doubt.

"How can you come to a place of work minding your own business and be assaulted in that fashion?

"It's just bang out of order and it's everything that's wrong. Too many times we hear people condemn it, but nothing's done about it. We're the ones that suffered.

"It's upsetting for a lot of reasons - I don't want to say too much more about it. He'll be dealt with," added the manager.

The man involved was arrested after the incident and Nottinghamshire Police have issued a statement.

"A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with this incident. He remains in custody and will be questioned by officers," Nottinghamshire Police's Paul Hennessy said.

"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."

Nottinghamshire Police is continuing to liaise with both clubs as enquiries continue.

The PFA described the Sharp incident as a “senseless assault” and called for matchday security and fan disorder to be reviewed ahead of next season.

“We will be raising player safety with the clubs, leagues and the UK Football Policing Unit,” the union said.

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