Fan attacks Aston Villa player Jack Grealish on pitch during Championship match

Credit PA

Players and stewards quickly surrounded the fan, whilst Glenn Whelan and Tammy Abraham confronted him and then attended to Grealish, who remained on the floor. Perhaps worst of all, he was cheered by numerous Brum fans, while he blew kisses into the crowd. Early on in February, it was reported that Aston Villa had identified the Nottingham Forest man as a potential replacement for star man Jack Grealish, as fears grew regarding his long-term future at the club.

The club continued: "What happened has no place in football or society. Jack is a Birmingham lad and regardless of club allegiance should not have been subjected to this - there are no excuses".

It was only Grealish's second game back from a long-term injury - he marked his return last week by scoring a stunning volley against Derby, while he also scored in November's 4-2 win over Blues at Villa Park. But he was booked for jumping into the stands to celebrate with visiting Villa fans.

"I think I speak on behalf of everyone at Birmingham, not just Birmingham but pretty much everyone in football, that can not happen on a football pitch". It was unbelievable to get the victor in front of the fans after what happened.

"Other people that saw your conduct are in a situation where a message must go out to them", Judge Clancy said.

The PFA added in a statement it was concerned about "this type of behaviour coming back into the game", adding: "Incidents like this demonstrate certain problems have not been eradicated and that players can be particularly vulnerable".

Precautionary measures were already taken in an attempt to reduce the risk of violence.

'Security should be better, it's why we kick off at 12pm on a Sunday to keep them out of the pub.

It read: "Birmingham City Football Club would like to apologise to Jack Grealish and Aston Villa Football Club for an incident in this afternoon's derby match".

"The Club will be working with the relevant authorities to investigate all the circumstances and we will be reviewing our stadium safety procedures".

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