AN Eastcote paralympian is lucky to have escaped serious injury after being attacked by football fans following Brentford's draw with Sheffield United on Tuesday night (16).
Andrew Lapthorne, a wheelchair tennis player, is believed to have been punched in the face as he walked down the steps of the Jessica Ennis stand at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane stadium in the wake of the 2-2 draw.
He was knocked to the ground, suffering several minor cuts and bruises, before managing to return inside and seeking treatment from club staff.
The silver medal winner and Brentford fan, later tweeted to confirm the attack and to reassure his fans that he was OK.
The incident comes just over a year since a 15-year-old Brentford fan suffered an eye injury after being attacked by Sheffield United fans close to Brentford’s Griffin Park ground - again following a match between the two League One rivals.
Kevin Cookson, spokesman for Sheffield United, said: “We are aware of the incident in question and of course very disappointed that it occurred.
“We are currently doing all we can to assist the police, including reviewing CCTV.”
Mark Devlin, Brentford FC Chief Executive, said: “We were made aware of what happened to Andy Lapthorne after the match and were glad to hear he was OK to travel home.
“Peter Gilham, the Club’s Player Liaison Manager, spent some time with Andy after the incident and we are pleased someone from Brentford FC was able to assist when he needed us.
“Andy is a loyal supporter, as well as a Disabled Ambassador for both the Club and Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.
“We hope this does not put him off travelling to away matches and supporting Brentford.
“If the Club can assist Andy in any way with what happened at Bramall Lane, we will do so.”
South Yorkshire police are looking for a 5’9” tall white man of stocky build in his 40’s in connection with the attack.
Call 101 and quote incident number 900 of April 16 with information.