The man seen holding a child while trying to hit a Lyon player during Everton’s 2-1 Europa League defeat this week has said that he is “ashamed” of his actions, but blamed the Premier League club for not taking the right security measures to prevent him from reaching the pitch.
The football fan has been banned from Goodison Park for life by Everton after television cameras captured him running towards the players as a clash between the two teams threatened to spill into the stands – all the while holding his three-year-old son.
The man, who does not want to be named, hit Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes on the face, which led to an angry reaction from the Frenchman’s teammates. He retreated backwards after lashing out at Lopes, but continued to shout aggressively towards the Lyon players as they clashed with the Everton team.
Merseysde Police are investigating the matter and confirmed that they spoke to a 30-year-old man from Knowsley, having voluntarily attended a police station to answer questions over affray and assault, before being released pending further inquiries.
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In an interview with the Sunday People, the man seen involved in the melee said: “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.”
The man added that he fears his ex-partner and mother of his son will attempt to ban access to his children over the incident, and claimed that Everton should have had the right security measures in place to prevent such an occasion where the fans can reach the playing field. He also blamed the players for putting his son in danger by “swinging their arms”, and insisted that he was “carried forward with other fans”.
“They’re supposed to be setting an example, as professional athletes,” he said of the players.
“I put myself and my son in a dangerous position by taking my eye off the ball and getting carried forward with other fans. Before I knew it I was through the gate, which should have been shut. Everton should have provided adequate security.
It was not intentional but I’d been too concentrated on screaming abuse at the players for being s***
“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 s***.
“And before I knew it I was led down there – then it was like, ‘F****** hell, what’s going on?’ and it looks the way it looks.”