Football fans charged after pitch invasion at Manchester City vs Aston Villa

Police said alleged assault of Robin Olsen is still under investigation

Liam James
Monday 23 May 2022 10:15
<p>Thousands of fans rushed the pitch after City won Premier League title on Sunday </p>

Thousands of fans rushed the pitch after City won Premier League title on Sunday

Two football fans have been charged after a pitch invasion at the end of the Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at the Etihad stadium on Sunday.

Thousands of supporters ran onto the pitch when City were crowned champions after a dramatic comeback but the celebrations were marred by reports of violence.

Greater Manchester Police said two men had been arrested and enquiries were ongoing into an alleged assault by a fan on Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen.

Phillip Maxwell, 28, of Anzio Row, Knowsley, was charged with throwing a pyrotechnic missile onto the pitch. He has been bailed and is set to appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Paul Colbridge, 37, of Whitegate Drive, Salford, was charged with going onto the pitch. He was also bailed and is set to appear at the same court on 7 June.

City apologised to Villa over the alleged assault of Olsen. A club statement said: “Manchester City would like to sincerely apologise to Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who was assaulted after the final whistle at today’s match when fans entered the pitch.

Villa goalkeeper Olsen disposes of a flare thrown onto the pitch from the stands

“The club has launched an immediate investigation and once identified, the individual responsible will be issued with an indefinite stadium ban.”

Sunday’s pitch invasion was the fifth in English professional mens’ football in a week and not the first to draw a police investigation.

A Nottingham Forest season-ticket holder was jailed for 24 weeks after after he deliberately charged at Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp and headbutted him following a pitch invasion at the end of the Championship play-off semi-final at City Ground on Tuesday.

Nottingham Forest fans celebrate on the pitch after they reach the play-off final at City Ground on Tuesday

A day later and Mansfield forward Jordan Bowery had a Northampton fan barge into him during the second leg of their League Two play-off tie at Sixfields.

After Port Vale fans rushed the pitch at Vale Park on Thursday when their team triumphed on penalties over Swindon to qualify for the League Two play-off final, video footage was shared which appeared to show punches being thrown at Swindon players.

Police officers detain Everton fans during a pitch invasion on Thursday

The same night at Goodison Park, Everton fans stormed the pitch twice – first after a goal which proved to be the winner in a 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace that secured Premier League survival, and again at full-time.

The FA said on Friday it was concerned by the rise in anti-social behaviour in the closing week of the season. A statement from the FA said: “Football stadiums should always be a safe and enjoyable space for everyone, and these incidents are completely unacceptable and have no place in our game.

It is illegal to enter the pitch area in any stadium and these actions are putting players, fans and people who run the game at great risk. This simply cannot continue and we can confirm that we are investigating all of the incidences.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in