On Saturday, an English soccer fan ran onto the field and punched Jamie Jones, the visiting team’s goalkeeper, disgracing himself and bringing negative attention to his team.
The Swindon Town fan punched Leyton Orient’s Jones three times before Jones backed away and stewards intervened. Jones was unhurt and finished the game. Police arrested the 26-year-old Swindon Town fan, who will face criminal charges and a lifetime ban from Swindon’s home stadium, The County Ground, according to the Mail.
“A 26-year-old man from Swindon was arrested at the County Ground during the Swindon Town game against Leyton Orient,” a police spokesperson said. “He was arrested on suspicion of pitch invasion and remains in custody at Gablecross Police Station, Swindon, at this stage.
The attack took place in the second half of the League One (English third division) game between the two teams, which Orient won 3-1. Predictably, it was the subject of much of the postgame discussion.
“It’s a great win but it was clouded in my opinion really by the fan coming on the pitch and throwing three punches at my goalkeeper,” Orient manager Russell Slade told the BBC. “I mean that’s absolutely outrageous, that’s the worst scene I’ve seen since I’ve been a manager at my football club, that’s an unbelievable scene.
“He’s okay, but I mean it doesn’t make it right does it, that he’s okay? I mean, it’s outrageous. The supporter, he needs a ban for life, he should never go to another football match.”
The FA has launched an investigation into the attack and Swindon says it will be reviewing its security policies. Leyton Orient CEO Matt Porter says Swindon has already taken action against the fan.
Swindon confirm fan who ran on pitch and attacked Jamie was arrested and will be banned for life. We will also press for strongest penalty—
Matt Porter (@MattPorter_LOFC) November 23, 2013
While there are fewer incidents of fan violence in English soccer than there were in previous eras, and hooliganism has largely disappeared from the Premier League scene, Saturday’s attack shows that threat of fan violence remains in this day and age.
See the fan attack Jones in the video below.
Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.
Photo via Twitter/@breakingnewsie