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."
what do you think?
What was the motive for the attack ? perhaps Kirkland is a Tory.
So if someone did that to you in the street how would you react
....and perhaps you are a pillock!
talk about being obsessed with the current government. amazing how you manged to turn this one onto your political agenda.
OK, it was just an idea, the Tories dont seem to be very popular right now. Maybe he is a Labour bloke or even worse : a Liberal.
Your a joke
Why do some peaple want to turn every comments page into a politcal debate.
They do that because they're boring and no one in a pub will listen so they spout their drival on here
No, it is the World`s most popular spectator sport which is boring.
That's one hell of a way to travel to get arrested for being a pratt!
Completely unaccepatable behaviour but did you see the way Kirkland went down as if he had been poleaxed. I suspect he initially thought it was a Leeds player and was trying to get him sent off. Old habits die hard
Falling to the ground becomes second nature to them :) seriously though, you're correct! Unacceptable behaviour!
Roy E Millington
LOOKS LIKE THE GOALIE WAS STRUCK IN OR CLOSE TO HIS EYES
Unemployed and can afford the travel expenses, ticket and that much alcohol?
We pay for it obviously.
They are the only folk who can afford to nowadays, us workers can't enjoy such luxuries........
of course they can afford it, govnment throwing money at these types.
Excellent point Sue...... Far too much benefits handed out me thinks!!!!
Vin and Gill
Physically assault a goalie - 4 months Swim around a poshboys boating jolly - 6 months - say no more !
good point but no excuse for what this idiot did............
There was a point?
It was a poshboy who swam around other poshboys ,I thinks he was upset that he wasn't center of attention, cawley was just a drunken working class lad who didn't know what planet he was on.
Thought it was 10 months, but youre spot on. Obviously disruptin what is seen as an upper class event is deemed more serious than disrupting a 'mere' football match.
How long did it take to bring the ridiculous Trent or whatever he calls himself to trial? Months? And this idiot? 3 days? So where do you find the bias?
Cut and dried....... shame the legal system couldn't be as quick for other crimes we've heard of recently ......i.e. the guy who shot the two Policewomen dead.......
Or the copper who killed Mr Tomlinson
Byron. It appears you haven't noticed but it has all ready been dealt with by the courts and he was found not guilty
It could be me, but I wouldn't be able to stand, let alone do what this guy did if I'd drunk a total of about 50 units of booze. The guy doesn't seem to be drunk at all as he makes his way back up into the stands. Sounds like an excuse to me.
El B. Don't believe a word of it. These are the words of a bozo who thinks drinking to excess is something to be proud. Several cans of Stella, over a pint of Vodka and 10 pints of cider, in your dreams thickhead.
kirkland should have got three years for crimes against acting. the fan was an idiot but only got such a harsh sentence because of the publicity. minor assaults like this happen thousands of times a day around the country with no custodial sentences dished out.
And again i'll say as far as Kirkland was concerned he could have had a knife. I reckon if someone came into your place of work and gave you a slap you would do the same. Followed by 6 months off for stress, compo and free counselling...
not me lorgar, that's not how i'm made. and i'm speaking from experience!
Nor me. But many others would.
To all those peoplewho criticise what Kirkland did consider this, if he had retaliated he could have made the situation worse. I think He did the right thing to diffuse the situation. Neil Warnock provrd once again with his comments about Kirkland what an idiot he is. Not just that but saying how embarassed he was being Leeds manager. What an insult to all the decent Leeds fans that was.
dave, i think his immediate reaction to fall to the floor clenching his face had nothing to do with diffusing the situation.
He is a Leeds fan. . .lock him up in the local zoo. .