The Sunderland fan who pushed Steve Harper to the ground following the final whistle yesterday was held by Northumbria Police.
Steve Harper is pushed down by Sunderland fan just after the end of the game
It looks to us like it was Darren Bent!!
But the teenage fan, said to be 17, arrived at the Benton training grounds this morning with his father, who was said to be mortified by what his son had done yesterday, and hadn’t slept a wink last night.
The players were not at the ground today, because they will have the day off, but an insider at Benton said this:
“His intention was to apologize to the manager, the club and to Harper,”
“He sat down with a club official and he could not have been more humble and full of remorse.”
The teenager was arrested after he ran on the pitch and was later released on police bail until March, and it is said that Northumbria Police said inquiries were ongoing in the case.
The Newcastle club has declined to comment on the apology, but Steve Harper told the Evening Chronicle today:
“I didn’t see him until he was right on me.”
“The supporter was detained by Sunderland fans after the incident, which was nice, and I heard he had been arrested.”
“Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn apologized to me after the game. I would like to thank the supporters of both teams for their concerns afterwards.”
Sunderland issued a club statement on Monday morning and it read as follows:
“The vast majority of fans in the 48,000 capacity crowd behaved very well and we thank them for their loyal support.”
“Sunderland AFC operates a zero-tolerance policy towards anti-social behavior of any kind within the Stadium of Light, and we are proud of our reputation as a family club.”
“Working closely with Northumbria Police, we will ensure that appropriate action is taken against anyone found to have been involved in any such behavior at yesterday’s game.”
“The club also recognizes the positive role Sunderland supporters played in helping to identify the small minority responsible for anti-social behavior to stewards and the police.”
Sunderland have a couple of top guys running the club in manager Steve Bruce and Chairman Niall Quinn.
And they would have been appalled with what happened after the game yesterday, when emotions seemed to get the better of some of the supporters at the Stadium of Light.
That last minute equalizer didn’t help things either.
Steve Bruce apologized immediately on hearing of the incident, and hoped the youngster would be barred from future Sunderland games.
But both Steve and Niall will be concerned that it reflects badly of the Sunderland football club, which is the last thing they will want.