Man quizzed over goalkeeper assault

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland after been struck by a Leeds United fan

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland after been struck by a Leeds United fan

First published in National News © by

A 21-year-old man is being questioned by police on suspicion of assault after Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was hit by a fan during a Championship game.

The incident was one of a number of ugly scenes at Hillsborough during the 1-1 draw with Leeds United on Friday night.

Gloucestershire Police said the man was arrested in Cheltenham shortly before 1pm yesterday. He was due to be transported to South Yorkshire for questioning.

A spokesman said: "The investigation is being led by South Yorkshire Police. The man currently remains in police custody."

Kirkland, who has played for England, was shoved to the ground moments after conceding an equaliser in the 76th minute. A fan ran from the Leeds seats onto the pitch and pushed Kirkland in the face, before running back into the crowd.

The incident, which the Football Association has also said it will investigate, was caught on camera by Sky Sports who were broadcasting the derby game.

Quickly the thug was identified on social media sites with hundreds of fans joining in the condemnation while a mobile phone number was even posted, supposedly belonging to the suspect.

Wednesday manager Dave Jones - himself the subject of vile chants - urged Leeds fans to clean up their act. Speaking on Five Live Sportsweek, he said: "In this country we seem to end up going with the minority all the time and it's going to take the majority to sort it out and you've got to police your own clubs.

"Do you know what needs to happen? The people that go to the games that are disgusted - and it's going to be hard - they are the ones who should walk out and isolate the people there who are doing it or point out who are doing it."

Leeds boss Neil Warnock said: "Every club has got these fans and for me it's got to start at the very top now. We know the lad who assaulted him and he's got to go through the courts and they've got to make it detrimental. It's all right saying 'go in and get them out', but you've got to be there. It's frightening for stewards - I wouldn't want to be a steward."

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