Fans’ reaction: Supporters praise Jack Grealish following attack on footballer during Birmingham v Villa derby

Fans' reaction: Supporters praise Jack Grealish following attack on footballer during Birmingham v Villa derby

Grealish, left, who was attacked as Aston Villa played Birmingham City yesterday (credit: Flickr)

Football fans have praised footballer Jack Grealish for the way he reacted after he was attacked during Aston Villa’s derby win over Birmingham City.

Grealish himself recovered remarkably well to the incident, which involved a fan running onto the pitch at St Andrews, by scoring the winning goal of the game in the second-half.

The Villa midfielder was hit from behind by a supporter who ran onto the field of play in the 10th minute of the match, whilst Manchester United defender Chris Smalling was also involved in a confrontation with a fan on the pitch in United’s 2-0 loss to Arsenal yesterday.

Paul Mitchell, 27, from Rubery, Worcestershire, was arrested and charged with encroachment onto the pitch and assault. He pleaded guilty to both charges  at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday and was sentenced to 14 weeks in jail and has been banned from attending any UK football match for 10 years, according to Birmingham Live.

Following the game Birmingham City apologised for the incident in an official club statement.

Reacting to captaining his side to victory and netting the winning goal on Twitter, Grealish posted:

The post received a positive reaction from fans of other clubs.

@SeanSpicer4 replied with: “Coming from a Wolves fan, I’m glad you got the winner. No excuse for that behaviour. Fair play you didn’t react to it.”

Aston Villa fan Stuart Cole (@StuartCole6) also showed his joy at the way Grealish had handled himself, replying:

Away from the dramatic scenes at St. Andrews, Grealish may be subject of another story of  triumph in the coming weeks.

He will be looking to be influential again in Aston Villa’s upcoming Championship clashes with Nottingham Forest on the 13th March and Middlesbrough on the 16th, but some are tipping him for an England call-up in the very near future.

England boss Gareth Southgate will be assessing his options and will have noticed the impact that Grealish has had in his two games since returning from injury.

He had been out for around three months with a bone stress injury but has bounced back with two goals in two games, but the upcoming squad announcement may come too soon for him to be full considered.

The 23-year-old is yet to make an appearance for his senior national side but gained seven caps for England Under-21s, scoring two goals.