'Moronic nutters' invading pitches 'bring shame' on football, John Stapleton fumes

23 May 2022, 16:28

By Seán Hickey

Fencing around football pitches may need to be introduced to bring an end to the 'appalling behaviour' seen in recent weeks, broadcasting legend John Stapleton insists.

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Manchester City's Premier League win on Sunday afternoon was overshadowed by reports that the Aston Villa goalkeeper was assaulted by two pitch invaders at the Etihad Stadium after the full time whistle.

The attack came just days after Crystal Palace manager Patrick Viera kicked a pitch invader at Goodison Park, after receiving fierce verbal abuse from the Everton fan.

Shelagh Fogarty was reflecting on the recent spike in pitch invasions when John Stapleton, broadcaster and life-long Manchester City fan, phoned in to admit he is "sad and distressed by what's been happening the last few weeks."

Mr Stapleton, who was at the game on Sunday, declared it was "a sad end" to a pulsating season of football.

Read more: Nottingham Forest fan jailed for assaulting Sheffield United's Billy Sharp on pitch

Read more: Four arrests as fans invade Everton pitch in shameful end to Crystal Palace game

He fumed at how a "tiny minority of absolute moronic nutters" are tarnishing all football fans by their misconduct, telling Shelagh that he hopes "this phase of appalling behaviour will come to a natural end."

Read more: Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy pleads not guilty to nine sex offences

The City fanatic was met with opposition from Shelagh when he said that the only way to prevent such misconduct next season is to build "some sort of fencing" at stadia, adding that "you can't expect the stewards to man" pitch invasions alone.

"These people bring shame on the clubs they allegedly represent."

After being quizzed by Shelagh, Mr Stapleton said he was against docking points from football teams, worrying that there could be abuse from fans trying to sabotage opposition teams.

"Why should the players be punished?"

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