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Fan who ran onto the pitch to punch Jack Grealish to get life ban from Birmingham City

Football's reputation was in the gutter on Sunday night after a thuggish Birmingham City fan ran on to the pitch and threw a cowardly punch at Jack Grealish during the Second City derby.

Grealish was sent sprawling as the fan, named locally as Paul Mitchell, 27, assaulted the Aston Villa captain, catching him on the side of the head.

Players from both sides sprang to Grealish's aid before the fan was dragged off the field by stewards.

A Birmingham City supporter stormed the pitch in the derby and headed to Jack Grealish
Catching the player unaware, Grealish was hit from behind by the fan early in the match
A steward followed him but could not intervene
Grealish was sent tumbling to the turf as a result

The thug sought out the Villa playmaker, and managed to evade the pitch-side stewards

Sickeningly, a vocal number of Birmingham supporters cheered the attacker, who blew kisses to the St Andrew's crowd as he was led away.