The United fan who Craig Bellamy hit on Sunday has spoken out about what happened.
“I was flung towards the barrier when Michael Owen scored – the place went mad, everyone was hugging each other and I can’t explain why it happened,” said Jake Clarke. “I was just loving the moment I guess after all the excitement throughout the match. The next thing I was on the pitch just wanting to celebrate with the United players. It’s not in my blood to want to hurt anyone, I just wanted to cheer them up close. I remember being tackled on the pitch and then I saw Bellamy coming over to me. He shouted at me, “Get off the fucking pitch you fucking knobhead. He said it a few times then just shoved me in the face. I said to him, “4-3 mate,” and I think he said something else to me before I was taken away. I’d had a few drinks before the game but I wasn’t drunk – honestly, it was the emotion that got to me. I’m United through and through, as is all my family, and I can’t ever remember a finish like that. I’m desperate to avoid a ban – I love the club. I just don’t know what came over me.”
Jake’s dad has also spoken about it, claiming he’s going to be in trouble with the missus when she gets home from holiday!
“I couldn’t believe – a minute or so more and we would have been out,” he said. “But the crowd was jammed towards the exit area and when Owen scored everyone just piled down to the bottom of the stand. The next thing Jake’s younger brother Joey tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘He’s on the pitch!’ It’s so out of character for him and he’s full of remorse. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing about it. His mum is away in Ibiza and I had to tell her what had happened. She went to buy the paper and saw his picture in it. She’s back tomorrow and no doubt I’ll be getting it in the neck for it.”