English police have arrested a man after he headbutted Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp following his side's Championship playoff semi-final defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Sheffield United won Tuesday's second leg 2-1, but there were jubilant scenes at the City Ground as the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate and Forest won on penalties to set up a final against Huddersfield Town.
Sharp - who was injured and unable to play - was attacked as he stood on the sideline with fans spilling onto the pitch.
"There’s a prison sentence there for sure," Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom told Sky Sports.
"We’re seeing things thrown on the pitch, putting players’ health and safety in danger and nothing’s ever done about it. There will be something done about that. We’ve seen what’s happened, we know what’s happened.
"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 assault. We’ve seen one of our players attacked. He’s shook up, bleeding, angry. It’ll be dealt with. It’s upsetting for a lot of reasons – I don’t want to say too much more about it."
Billy sharp taken clean oot pic.twitter.com/5moNIeRFvn
— Robbie Clunes (@robbieclunes82) May 17, 2022
Forest condemned the attack on Sharp who spent the 2012/13 season at the club on loan from Southampton.
Nottingham Forest condemn attack on Billy Sharp
"Nottingham Forest Football Club are appalled to learn that our former player, Billy Sharp, was assaulted leaving the pitch after tonight's match at The City Ground," the club said in a statement.
"The Club will work with the authorities to locate the individual in order they are held to account for their actions, which will include a life ban from Nottingham Forest.
"The Club would also like to apologise to Billy personally and to Sheffield United Football Club."
— billy sharp (@billysharp10) May 18, 2022
Nottinghamshire Police said that a 31-year-old man was arrested "on suspicion of assault".