Everton fan who tried to attack player while holding his child jailed

The Everton fan who attempted to attack a Lyon player during a Europa League clash with his three-year-old CHILD in his arms has been jailed.

The shocking Goodison Park incident began when Ashley Williams appeared to shove goalkeeper Anthony Lopes into the advertising boards during the Toffees’ 2-1 defeat.

Up to 20 players became involved in a pitch-side row before spectator Michael Fitzpatrick, of Derby Square, Prescot, threw a punch seemingly towards Lopes.

The father was quizzed by police the next day and later admitted he was "ashamed" of his actions.

At the Community Justice Centre in Bootle, the 30-year-old pleaded guilty to a Section 39 assault and was jailed for eight weeks.


He was also given a six year football banning order due to the serious aggravating factor of the assault taking place while holding a child.

After the incident, Wales captain Ashley Williams said: “That’s what happens. It’s football. It is what it is. It’s what happens. Stuff happens. It was one of them times I suppose.”

In an interview with the Sunday People shortly after the incident, Fitzpatrick added: “I was out of the police station inside half an hour with my solicitor.

"But I’m ashamed of what I’ve done. I already know. I’m not a f****** d***head."


At the time he accused the players of putting his son in danger by “swinging their arms” and added: “They’re supposed to be setting an example, as professional athletes.”

He also claimed Everton bore some blame for leaving open a gate meant to keep fans away from the pitch.

“I put myself and my son in a dangerous position by taking my eye off the ball and getting carried forward with other fans,” he said.

“Before I knew it I was through the gate, which should have been shut. Everton should have provided adequate security.

“I knew I’d put myself in that dangerous position. It was not intentional but I’d been too concentrated on screaming abuse at the players for being sh**.

“And before I knew it I was led down there – then it was like, ‘F***ing hell, what’s going on?’ and it looks the way it looks.”

The dad insisted he is being made a scapegoat and compared the ruckus to the attack on a fan by Manchester United striker Eric Cantona in 1995.

“Cantona ran off the pitch, gave a fan a kung fu kick in the chest and I’m the worst thing in football. Are they deluded?” he said.

“It doesn’t look the best on video but I know what happened and what I intended to do. That’s why I’m so aggrieved.”


Superintendent Dave Charnock said: "The majority of fans went to the game to enjoy it for what it was – a football match between two passionate clubs.

"The police will not tolerate the selfish and idiotic actions of a few attempting to spoil a game of football that the vast majority of people went along to enjoy.

“We will continue to work closely with all of our local clubs to make matches safe and enjoyable occasions for everyone, and ensure that we look to prosecute anyone who commits this type of behaviour.”

“Fitzpatrick will now will have a criminal record and the consequences of this in the future could be significant."

Callum McCready, 19, of Four Acre Lane, Clock Face, was also charged with s39 assault in connection with the incident at Goodison and was given a caution.

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