Sheffield Wednesday keeper Chris Kirkland was assaulted by a Leed’s thug in this evenings Yorkshire Derby after Leeds equalised on 77 minutes.
Leeds United were quick to release a statement denouncing the incident.
“Leeds United Football Club would like to publicly apologise and condemn the action of the fan who came on the pitch and attacked Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland. The club will fully co-operate with the police and the football authorities in identifying the individual concerned. After the week football has endured there is no place for this type of behaviour and the majority of Leeds supporters will be ashamed of his actions.”
The sentiments were shared by Leeds manager Neil Warnock. “I’m absolutely embarrassed – absolute disgrace,” said Warnock, who also seemed to suggest Kirkland had exaggerated his fall.
“Listen, he (Kirkland) went down like a ton of bricks, but that doesn’t make a difference,” said Warnock. “There’s no way he should be on the pitch doing that, I hope we can make an absolute issue of it.
“It spoilt everything for everybody. When I see a moron like that I’m not proud to be Leeds manager. I don’t mind the rivalry – elbows flying, penalties missed by the referee – but to see things like that…I’m absolutely embarrassed.
“They had enough security men, but if you’ve got a person like him with what must be a five-year-old’s mentality then you can’t stop it. Get the guy, prosecute him and put him in bloody prison. Our crowd was fantastic tonight – we had one moron. I’m very sorry about that.”
Kirkland, 31, had just conceded a 77th-minute equaliser to Michael Tonge when the incident happened, with a man running onto the field from the Leppings Lane End which was housing the Leeds fans, and appearing to punch Kirkland in the face.