January 08, 2011
Ah, the romance of the FA Cup. Amid the celebration on the pitch at Broadhall Way following League Two side Stevenage beating Newcastle 3-1 in their FA Cup third round match, a fan punched Stevenage defender Scott Laird in the face and appeared to snatch his shirt from his hands.
Said Stevenage manager Graham Westley (via the Doncaster Free Press):
"Scott Laird was stood celebrating with the fans and a fan just came over and smashed him from the side. He went to the ground and it is a shame for the afternoon to end in that way. He is a bit bewildered. He (the fan) gave him a right-hander, just smashed him across the cheek and knocked him to the ground."
He added: "He said to me, 'It's lucky I've got a big head to take it'. It was a sad way for things to end."
It's nice that Laird is finding the humor in this, but the FA certainly isn't -- they've launched an investigation into the incident and will hopefully punish this degenerate. Some are saying Laird's attacker is a Newcastle fan, others say he's a Stevenage fan, but I think it's safe to say that he's just an idiot. And how did he get away with continuing to prance around the pitch without getting taken down? I understand there was confusion after the shocking win and Stevenage probably don't have a massive security budget, but wow.
Anyway, congrats to Stevenage on the historic win and good luck avoiding getting punched in the face in the next round.
UPDATE: Police have arrested a 24-year-old man from Stevenage on suspicious of assault.