Shearer warns football ace could be killed in pitch invader attack as Grealish and Smalling both accosted by 'fans'

Aston Villa’s Grealish was punched by a thug in the derby at Birmingham yesterday.

Hours later, Manchester United’s Smalling was shoved at Arsenal after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 69th-minute penalty.

Grealish and Smalling were unhurt but Red Devils captain Ashley Young warned players are in danger from pitch invaders.

And SunSport columnist Shearer fumed: “It is absolutely disgusting and if we don’t stamp it out now, next time it could be a knife.

“It’s that serious. Where are we at in football when some thug thinks that is what he is going to do?

“The football authorities have to be seen to nail Birmingham for the behaviour of their fan.

“If that means docking them points, playing in an empty stadium, so be it. There cannot be a strong enough punishment.
“It’s completely ridiculous — I can’t remember seeing anything as blatant as this.

“There has to be the right message here. Come down like a ton of bricks on Birmingham and punish so-called fans where it hurts, with bans and fines.

“It just proves we have a real problem. The authorities have to stamp it out NOW.”

Both supporters have been arrested, as was a Hibernian fan who attacked Rangers captain James Tavernier on Friday.
All three home clubs — Arsenal, Birmingham and Hibs — have banned the thugs for life.

Young added: “What message can you put out there? It is the third time a fan has managed to get on the pitch. What if they are carrying something?

“Players will be at danger. It is definitely something the FA, Premier League and Fifa need to look at. Maybe extra stewarding. Something has to be done.”

Shearer added: “The football field is for the footballer. It is difficult for the club who have thousands of decent fans who will be appalled by that behaviour.

“But the other fans, seen and heard cheering the fan who attacked Grealish, should be ashamed as well.

“I would urge every newspaper, TV station and media outlet to show those fans who were applauding him, as well as the perpetrator himself.

“Hopefully he spends a long time in prison.

“The Arsenal fan who comes onto the field also needs to be banned. Yes, he was coming on to celebrate, but he shouldn’t be on the field at all.”

Birmingham and Arsenal, who will also face an FA probe, issued statements apologising to the players.

And Gunners boss Unai Emery said: “We don’t want to see that sort of thing. I’m very proud of our supporters but we need them to do it with respect.”

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