Derbyshire man Robert Biggs jailed after attacking Billy Sharp at football match

An electrical engineer from Derbyshire who headbutted Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp has been jailed today.

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 3:07 pm

Robert Biggs, aged 30, from Ilkeston, floored the Sheffield United captain during a pitch invasion after Nottingham Forest beat The Blades in the second leg of the Championship play-off semi-final on Tuesday night.

After a dramatic penalty shoot-out, Forest fans ran onto the pitch and mobbed players.

Sharp, who was watching from the sidelines due to injury, was targeted by Biggs who ran towards him and headbutted him to the ground.

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Ilkeston man Robert Biggs has been jailed after assaulting Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp at the end of the game at Forest. Photo: George Wood/Getty Images

The Forest season ticket holder admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm which left Sharp requiring four stitches to a wound to his lip.

He was jailed at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court for 24 weeks this morning.

Prosecutor Marianne Connally said the incident was caught by cameras covering the play-off semi-final for live television.

She told the court: “A large number of fans entered the field of play.

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“Mr Sharp hadn’t directly participated in the game. He appears to be standing with his hands in his pockets.

“Mr Biggs can be seen to run along the pitch. He then headbutts Mr Sharp.

“The Crown’s case is that this is a deliberate and senseless act of violence.”

Biggs did not oppose an application for a football banning order during the hearing.

He was told that a separate charge of illegally entering the playing surface had been dropped.

Passing sentence on Robert Biggs for assaulting Sharp, District Judge Grace Leong told the £55,000-a-year electrical engineer: “The video-clip proves to me that you were running towards Billy Sharp and that you dodged all the other spectators to get towards him.

“I am of the view that it was a targeted act of aggression… even if it was not premeditated.

“The forceful impact resulted in a very unpleasant injury to Mr Sharp.

“You must have seen him fall over but you did not stop to check if he was alright or whether he was seriously injured.

“This is so serious that a custodial sentence must be imposed.”

After the incident, Sharp, who used to play for Forest, said: “As an ex Forest player I will not let one scumbag ruin my respect for the Forest fans.”