Man arrested as ex-Leeds United striker Billy Sharp assaulted in play-off penalty shoot-out drama

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom and Nottingham Forest were quick to condemn the actions of a supporter who appeared to headbutt ex-Leeds forward Billy Sharp
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Nottingham Forest's penalty shoot-out victory over Sheffield United in the Championship play-off semi-final was marred by an act of violence on Tuesday evening.

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Following goalkeeper Brice Samba's shoot-out heroics, which guided Forest to a first Wembley visit since 1992, supporters at the City Ground invaded the pitch en masse to celebrate with the team.

SHOOK UP: Ex-Leeds United striker Billy Sharp was attacked by a supporter at the City Ground on Tuesday evening (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)SHOOK UP: Ex-Leeds United striker Billy Sharp was attacked by a supporter at the City Ground on Tuesday evening (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)
SHOOK UP: Ex-Leeds United striker Billy Sharp was attacked by a supporter at the City Ground on Tuesday evening (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)
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Players from both sides were swarmed as security and stewards hurried to clear the pitch and dugouts.

During the Forest celebrations, one supporter careered into ex-Leeds United striker and injured Blades man Billy Sharp stood on the touchline.

The 36-year-old was blindsided by the attack and took a heavy fall in the process.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom condemned the actions of the supporter in question following the assault.

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"Bill was minding his own business off the pitch, trying to get our players away. He was blindsided, it was cowardly. He was knocked to the ground [and required] stitches, he was shook up."

A 31-year-old was swiftly identified by Nottinghamshire Police and arrested shortly thereafter. A statement from the authorities read: "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."

Nottingham Forest Football Club issued an apology to Sharp and Sheffield United, whilst also stating the perpetrator would be subject to a lifetime banning order.

"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.

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"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."

Forest will play Huddersfield Town in the Championship play-off final later this month in a bid to make a Premier League return for the first time in 23 years.