Thursday 25 May 2017

'Disgusted and ashamed' - Police and FA launch investigation after Furious Chris Brunt hit with an object

West Brom's Chris Brunt reacts after a coin is thrown at him from the crowd
West Brom's Chris Brunt reacts after a coin is thrown at him from the crowd
West Brom's Chris Brunt reacts after a coin is thrown at him from the crowd as Darren Fletcher looks on

The Football Association is investigating the incident in which West Brom's Chris Brunt said he was hit by a coin thrown by Albion fans following their 3-1 defeat at Reading, while police are treating it as an assault.

The Northern Ireland international had gone over to applaud the visiting fans following their FA Cup fifth-round exit, but went down clutching his face as he approached the away end.

Brunt, who suffered a cut under his left eye, said a coin had been thrown at him by the fans, while boss Tony Pulis claimed the player could have been blinded.

"I've still got the 50p," Brunt said. "I spotted a little girl in the front row and wanted to give her my shirt.

West Brom's Chris Brunt reacts after a coin is thrown at him from the crowd as Darren Fletcher looks on
West Brom's Chris Brunt reacts after a coin is thrown at him from the crowd as Darren Fletcher looks on

"Obviously there's some people in the front who were angry, understandably, because we didn't play well or get the result we wanted.

"But there's absolutely no excuse for that and no place for it in football. I've been here a long time. Obviously we all get our fair share of stick but to be hit with a coin by your own fans is absolutely disgusting.

"The guy who threw it knows who he is and knows all this week where I'll be, and next Saturday if he wants to come and have a word about it that's not a problem - I'll meet him wherever he wants.

"I've been here a long time and I've loved my time here and that's the first time I've been ashamed of our supporters. A small minority obviously ruined it for the rest of the 4,000 who were there and paid good money for a day trip."

The FA will look into the incident, as well as the crowd disturbances in the Baggies' end of the Madejski Stadium.

A statement from the FA on Saturday evening read: "The FA is investigating the incident in which an object was thrown from the crowd at Chris Brunt at the end of the Reading v West Bromwich Albion game on Saturday (20 February 2016) as well as the crowd disturbances in the away section of the stadium.

"We strongly condemn any such behaviour and will work with both clubs and the authorities to identify those responsible."

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said: "The incident will be dealt with as an assault and we will be working with West Bromwich Albion and Reading to resolve the issue and identify anyone involved."

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