Billy Sharp criticises ‘mindless idiot’ after touchline attack during pitch invasion

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Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp at the City Ground before kick-off  (PA)
Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp at the City Ground before kick-off (PA)

Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp has criticised “one mindless idiot” for ruining “an unbelievable night of football” after Nottingham Forest’s Championship play-off semi-final win over his team.

The Blades mounted a thrilling comeback to win 2-1 in regular time at the City Ground, forcing extra-time, but with no further goals, the hosts eventually prevailed 3-2 on penalties to book their place at Wembley Stadium against Huddersfield Town with a place in the Premier League at stake.

Thousands of fans ran onto the City Ground pitch after Brice Samba saved Morgan Gibbs-White’s spot kick, with one fan seen apparently running into Sharp on the touchline and headbutting him.

The fan’s behaviour has been condemned by both clubs, but Sharp, who did not play in the game itself, was magnanimous despite the incident.

"One mindless idiot ruined what was an unbelievable night of football," the striker said. "Congratulations to Nottingham Forest on their victory and good luck in the final.

Nottingham Forest fans run onto the City Ground pitch after the home team’s victory on penalties (PA)
Nottingham Forest fans run onto the City Ground pitch after the home team’s victory on penalties (PA)

The 36-year-old Blades star spent a season on loan at the City Ground in 2012-13, and he added: “As an ex-Forest player I will not let one scumbag ruin my respect for the Forest fans. Incredibly proud to be captain of this group of Sheffield United players, they gave their all and can hold their heads up high.

“We will be back and go again. Thanks for all your messages and support after the incident."

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