A fundraising page was set up to help pay off Birmingham fan Paul Mitchell’s (pictured) £100 compensation to Jack Grealish for invading the pitch and punching the Aston Villa midfielder during a match on Sunday
A GoFundMe page to help a jailed football thug pay his compensation to Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has sparked fury online.
The campaign to raise funds for Paul Mitchell was launched minutes after he was sent to prison and ordered to pay 23-year-old Grealish £100.
The fundraising page bizarrely features a picture of jobless football thug Mitchell, 27, mocked up as King Henry VIII.
But it appears to have been taken down by GoFundMe bosses amid complaints from both Aston Villa and Birmingham supporters.
Married father-of-one Mitchell, of Rubery, Worcester, was jailed for 14 weeks after he admitted assaulting the Aston Villa captain when he stormed the pitch during the game against Birmingham City on Sunday.
Grealish, who was knocked to the ground after Mitchell swung a punch from behind, went onto score the only goal of the game.
The GoFundMe page states it was raising cash for ‘Paul Mitchell’s fine and family money.’
It stated: ‘We’d like to raise a bit of money to help Paul pay his fine to a millionaire Grealish and help his pregnant partner get by whilst he’s away for a bit.
‘Thanks in advance.’
Fans reacted in disgust at the fundraising campaign, branding it ‘a disgrace.’
Writing on Facebook, Ben Taylor stormed: ‘Take this page down! This scumbag deserves nothing.’
The page mocked up Mitchell to look like King Henry VII, pictured, and urged people to help his pregnant wife and young child
Mitchell said he attacked Grealish, pictured, ‘for a joke’ and because he thought the Aston Villa player ‘was a kn*b’
Aston Villa fan Edward North said: ‘This prat has had his 15 minutes of fame now let’s forget he ever existed.
‘It’s a disgrace that people want to help pay off his fine. He’s not a football fan, he’s a sad little attention seeker.’
Yesterday The court heard the married father-of-one, who is a season ticket holder at Birmingham and has been a fan for 20 years, carried out the assault ‘as a joke’ because he thought the footballer ‘was a kn*b’.
‘It could have been worse’: Jack Grealish on the astonishing attack
In a statement read to Birmingham Magistrates’ Court today by prosecutor Jonathan Purser, Jack Grealish said:
‘He [Jack Grealish] was shocked and scared because if this person was brazen enough to get onto the pitch, what else could he do?
‘He didn’t know the person who assaulted him and didn’t antagonise Birmingham City supporters.
‘It could have been worse had the person had a weapon.’
A statement from Grealish, who scored the winner in a 1-0 victory for Villa despite the attack, said he was ‘shocked and scared’ at how Mitchell had been able to launch his attack and feared it ‘could have been worse’ if he was armed.
The £100 compensation works out at around half an hour’s work for the footballer who is believed to be on £40,000 a week.
Meanwhile Birmingham City confirmed the club had banned him from matches for life.
Sentencing, magistrate Alison Fisher said: ‘We have listened carefully what was said in court today.
‘This was an unprovoked assault on a footballer doing his job in front of 23,000 spectators and thousands watching on TV, including families.
‘We note that you have taken responsibility for your actions. However, this type of behaviour is totally unacceptable.
‘The sentence must act as a punishment and a deterrent to others in order to send a message to the public and fans and players like Mr Grealish who should be protected at all times.
‘We have taken into account mitigation and family circumstances, however, we feel your actions deserve a prison term, one for 14 weeks.’
Mitchell, 27, pictured left and right, was jailed for 14 weeks over the assault