Top Five: Player-fan clashes

21 September 2010 11:10
Following Lee Bowyer's war of words with a section of the West Brom faithful last Saturday,'s Joe Strange takes a look at some of the more energetic player-fan interactions from down the years.

Eric Cantona v Crystal Palace, January 25th 1995

Undoubtedly the most high-profileincident ever between a player and fan, Cantona's flying kung-fu kick on Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons earned the Frenchman an nine-month ban and a fine of £30,000.

The former Leeds United man had just been sent off and was on his way towards the tunnel when Simmons, a man previously convicted for an attempted violent robbery, used threatening and abusive behaviour to provoke an already furious Cantona. Eric responded by launching himself into the crowd and throwing a few right hands before being dragged out by stewards.

Frank Lampard v Tottenham Hotspur, March 19th 2007

Moments after the full-time whistle of Chelsea's 2-1 win over Tottenham in an FA Cup replay at White Hart Lane, Spurs fan Timothy Smith thought it would be a good idea to run onto the pitch and go for Frank Lampard.

Luckily for Lamps, he managed to duck the drunken swing of Smith before Jose Mourinho's assistant Baltemar Brito wrestled him to the ground. Didier Drogba and co also got involved before stewards dragged the youngster away. He was given a three-year ban from attending all football matches.

Ian Walker v Aston Villa, February 1st 2004

Poor old Ian Walker. While playing for Tottenham the keeper was on the end of a punch from a disgruntled Spurs fan after a 7-1 defeat to Newcastle. And seven years on the former England stopper was forced to endure a similar attack while plying his trade at Leicester City.

Losing 5-0 at home to Midlands rivals Aston Villa, overweight Foxes supporter Andrew Price entered the pitch and squared up to Walker. However Ian had learnt from his previous experience, smartly pushing Price to the ground before holding him down until the stewards could escort him from the Walkers stadium.

Brian Clough v QPR, 1989

While manager of Nottingham Forest, Clough engaged in one of the most memorable encounters between fans on the pitch, and in this case, managers.

Forest fans had swarmed onto the pitch to celebrate their side's win over QPR, when Cloughie, fuelled by a mixture of adrenaline and alcohol, decided it would be a good idea to a batter a few of them round the head. He was fined £5,000 and given a touchline ban but later apologised to the supporters involved.

Dida v Celtic, October 3rd 2007

In one of the most ridiculous pitch invasions of all time, Celtic fan Robert McHendry stormed onto the pitch after seeing his side score a last-minute winner against AC Milan. The 27-year-old ran past Milan's Brazilian keeper Dida, lightly tapping him on the shoulder on his way past.

After the briefly giving chase after the Scot, Dida fell to the ground clutching his face. He was stretchered from the pitch with an ice pack on his face, while McHendry was given a lifetime ban from Celtic Park.

Source: DSG