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A man has been sentenced to prison for assaulting Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp during a pitch invasion at Nottingham Forest's City Ground.
On Tuesday, 17 May, footage revealed the chaos that ensued after the Championship Playoff semi-final as supporters rushed onto the pitch, with Billy Sharp being knocked to the ground by one Forest fan.
Robert Biggs was arrested on suspicion of assault and pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates' Court before being sentenced today, Thursday, 19 May.
Biggs has been jailed at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court for 24 weeks.
Forest fan headbutts Sheffield United’s billy sharp pic.twitter.com/vQ98GP4YNu— Football Fights (@footbalIfights) May 17, 2022
On Thursday, 19 May, Rob Griffin, assistant chief constable of Nottinghamshire police, confirmed Biggs had been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He said: "I am pleased we have now charged a suspect in connection with this assault. This is a result of hard work done throughout the night and today involving numerous police departments.
"We continue to work closely with both football clubs who are supporting our investigation. Cases such as this will hopefully serve as a deterrent to anyone thinking of getting involved in violent disorder at football matches."
In the footage Biggs can be seen in a yellow t-shirt barreling towards Sharp.
Paul Heckingbottom, manager of Sheffield United, was quick to call out the fan's actions as 'assault' and claimed Sharp required stitches after the attack.
"We’ve seen one of our players attacked. He’s shuck up, bleeding, angry," he said.
“It’s assault. We’ve seen one of our players attacked.— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) May 17, 2022
He’s shuck up, bleeding, angry. It’ll be dealt with.”
Hecky on Billy Sharp. pic.twitter.com/bgbLoFjr3s
Nottingham Forest Football Club condemned the actions of Biggs, which have left the club 'appalled'.
In a statement, the club not only agreed to help authorities find the person responsible and make sure 'they are held to account for their actions,' but it also stated it would impose 'a life ban from Nottingham Forest'.
It concluded: "The Club would also like to apologise to Billy personally and to Sheffield United Football Club."
That attack on Billy Sharp by a Forest fan is outrageous. Could have done so much damage.— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) May 18, 2022
What football fan, celebrating their greatest moment in years and years, decides to do that? I just don’t get it. Absolute idiot.
Heckingbottom also spoke out about the 'danger' players' 'health and safety' are constantly being put in during football matches.
He said: "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."
Former Nottingham Forest defender, Michael Dawson, echoed similar thoughts.
He said: "It happens every year at the end of a season when one team has disappointment and one team has joy, I worry for the opposition when fans run on. It only takes one situation for someone to be really hurt."
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