UK & World News
Goalkeeper Assault: Man Jailed For 16 Weeks
A football fan has been jailed for four months after he admitted assaulting Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.
Aaron Cawley, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, also pleaded guilty to invading the pitch during the Championship match against Leeds United on Friday night.
Sheffield Magistrates Court heard the unemployed 21-year-old was so drunk he could not remember the attack.
He later emailed Sky Sports, which had been broadcasting the game live, and the police, saying: "It was a disgrace and I'm embarrassed by my actions."
Cawley, who has supported Leeds United all his life and went to every home and away game, told police he had drunk a number of cans of Stella Artois lager and three-quarters of a litre of vodka before arriving in Sheffield for the match.
Once in the city, he drank up to 10 pints of cider.
Kirkland was struck in the face during the 1-1 draw at Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium.
The home goalkeeper, who has played for England, fell to ground and required treatment but was able to finish the game.
"I was sore and ... really shocked at what had happened and it was a strange feeling because of all the adrenalin you feel in such a big match anyway," he told the club's official website.
"It was scary. I thought of my family watching something like that and it was not a nice feeling.
"I would like to thank everyone from the football world for their messages of support."
Cawley appeared in the dock wearing a blue T-shirt which left an "LUFC" tattoo clearly visible on his neck and a Leeds United club crest on his right arm.
As well as a prison sentence, he was given a six-year football banning order, requiring him to stay at least a mile away from any stadium at which Leeds United is playing.
Cawley has been the subject of two banning orders in the past and has breached these four times, the court was told.
In a statement issued after the game, Leeds United said: "We would like to publicly apologise for and condemn the actions of the fan who came onto the pitch at Hillsborough.
"There is no place for that type of behaviour and the majority of Leeds United fans will be ashamed of his actions."