Man Charged After Pitch Invasion During Blues Villa Derby
11 March 2019, 06:26
A man has been charged with invading the pitch during Aston Villa's Second City derby match against Birmingham and assaulting captain Jack Grealish.
27 year-old Paul Mitchell from Rubery is accused of attacking the player less than 10 minutes into the Championship clash at Birmingham's St Andrew's Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The midfielder, 23, was allegedly assaulted from behind as he stood in the Birmingham penalty area.
Stewards intervened and the suspect was led off the pitch.
West Midlands Police said Mitchell will appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court later today.
Despite the incident Grealish went on to score the only goal of the game, lifting Villa to a 1-0 victory.
He later posted this on Twitter.
Villa manager Dean Smith said Grealish was "okay" after the incident, but was critical of the security arrangements at the ground.
"It shouldn't happen, the security should have been better," he told Sky Sports Football.
Players' body the Professional Footballers' Association has called for a full inquiry into the incident.
It was one of two pitch invasions at major football matches on Sunday afternoon, the other taking place during Manchester United's clash against Arsenal.