Villa's Grealish punched by Birmingham fan


London (AFP)

Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was punched by a pitch-invading Birmingham fan in a shocking incident during Sunday's Championship clash between the bitter rivals.

Grealish was in the Birmingham penalty area in the 10th minute when a man ran on to the field and threw a punch from behind the Villa captain.

The blow caught Grealish on the side of the head and sent him sprawling to the turf.

The intruder was quickly restrained by a steward as Villa players including Tammy Abraham and Glenn Whelan rushed to Grealish's defence in an astonishing flashpoint.

After the fan had been shoved over in the row, he was eventually led away by police, defiantly blowing kisses to the crowd as he left.

Grealish is a boyhood Villa fan and once turned down a chance to join Birmingham on loan when he was a youngster, reportedly saying "I'm not going there".