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Nottinghamshire Police have launched an investigation after Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp appeared to be headbutted by a fan at the end of the Championship play-off semi-final.

Video has emerged online of the celebrations after Nottingham Forest’s 3-2 penalty shoot-out win apparently showing a fan running to Sharp, who was on loan at Forest during the 2012-13 season, during the invasion of the pitch and the throwing to the ground.

Nottingham Forest released a statement saying they were “appalled” by the footage of their former player being “attacked”.

“The club will work with the authorities to locate the individual so that he is held accountable for his actions, which will include a lifetime ban from Nottingham Forest,” it read. “The club would also like to apologize to Billy personally and to Sheffield United.”

As Sharp lay on the ground, the man walked away from the scene. Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom told Sky Sports: “There’s definitely jail time there. We see things being thrown onto the pitch and things being thrown around to endanger health and safety. player safety and nothing has ever been done about it. Something will have to be done about it. We saw what happened, we know what happened.

“How can you come into a workplace minding your own business and be assaulted that way? It’s just out of order and that’s all that’s wrong. Too often we hear people condemn it, but nothing is done about it. It is we who have suffered.

“It’s an attack. We saw one of our players attacked. He’s screwed up, bleeding, angry. It will be processed.

“It’s upsetting for a lot of reasons – I don’t want to say too much about it. It will be dealt with.

“It’s an attack. We saw one of our players attacked.

He’s screwed up, bleeding, angry. It will be processed. »

Hecky on Billy Sharp.

— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) May 17, 2022

Nottinghamshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Rob Griffin said: ‘Inquiries are underway to identify the offender and we will seek to make an arrest as soon as possible.

“We have seen the footage, as have many others who watched the game on TV, and we ask anyone who knows who the attacker is to please contact us as soon as possible.

“We have spoken to the player concerned and we are working with the two clubs who are supporting us in our investigation which will continue throughout the night.

“Our thorough investigations are still ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101.”

Nottingham Forest lost the game 2-1 on the evening but a 3-3 aggregate score meant the tie was settled by a penalty shootout, which was won by Steve Cooper’s side 3-2 . They will now travel to Wembley to take on Huddersfield for a Premier League spot next season on Sunday May 29.

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