The scenes at St Andrew’s in Birmingham on Sunday lunchtime were shocking, but not actually that surprising – supporters running onto football pitches has been happening for years.
Almost 22 years ago to the day, on March 8, 1997, an Albion fan ran on the pitch at the Goldstone Ground attempting to attack a Leyton Orient player.
Paul Mitchell’s attack on Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, during the match against Birmingham City, unfortunately typifies much that is wrong with society.
These days, society seems to be fuelled by ‘instant fame’ on social media and reality TV, with ‘role models’ like Gemma Collins and Katie Price.
(On the subject of Miss Collins, it was reported this week that she’s quitting Britain to become the new Beyoncé – good luck with that.)
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It’s easy to take the moral high ground, but ultimately we’re all flawed. We’ve all done things we shouldn’t have done.
Twenty-five years ago, myself and a friend were where we shouldn’t have been at Ascot races, and I ended up shaking hands with the Queen.
The troubling aspect is that Mitchell – who was jailed over the attack – was blowing kisses to the Birmingham faithful as he was led away.
Hopefully Mitchell will buck the trend and his rehabilitation and possible redemption will act as an example to others.
But one thing’s for sure – when he is released, he will have his Saturday afternoons free for the foreseeable future.
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