Police launch investigation after Chesterfield FC’s Ian Evatt is allegedly punched by Preston North End fans

Preston North End vs Chesterfield - Preston fans invade the pitch at full time - Pic By James Williamson
Preston North End vs Chesterfield - Preston fans invade the pitch at full time - Pic By James Williamson

Police are set to investigate after a Chesterfield FC player was apparently attacked by a fan during the team’s 3-0 loss at Preston North End.

The Spireites’ defender Ian Evatt was on the pitch after the final whistle in the second leg of the play-off semi-final when fans invaded the pitch.

The former Blackpool player - a keen rival club for Preston fans - was then allegedly assaulted.

He said on Twitter after the game: “To be attacked on a football pitch and fear for your safety is an absolute disgrace I was punched kicked and spat on several times #disgrace.”

Later,he said: “It’s well reported I’m an ex-Blackpool player.

“After the final whistle the Preston fans invaded the pitch. I was gathered around by a couple of hundred fans at least, shouting abuse, spitting, I got hit and kicked a couple of times.

“(It was) more than pushing and shoving. I’ve reported it to the police, and Sky Sports have given the police the footage of the two guys who threw the punches.

“To be honest, it’s so disappointing. How long will this go on for until there’s a real serious incident? It’s too easy for fans nowadays to invade football pitches. Something needs to be done about it. The more it goes on, the more likely there will be a serious offence and a serious injury to a player.”

Chesterfield assistant Leam Richardson also condemned the alleged scenes and insisted Evatt’s previous allegiances with Blackpool were no excuse for what occurred.

“I think it’s a disgrace personally,” said Richardson.

“The game’s played in a great manner and Preston have had a really positive result as a club. The rivalry, you can’t underestimate that, but to lay hands on people as supporters and men is a disgrace. Ian’s fine.

“He did not react, categorically not. He never reacted. He was surrounded by a few thousand but he’s conducted himself very well.

“He’s an emotional kid anyway, Ian, and he’s disappointed with the outcome of the two legs. And you are disappointed with the outcome of one or two individuals.”