A football fan who gained notoriety for running onto a pitch and punching former Aston Villa player Jack Grealish during a match has been found dead.
Reports from The Sun, Paul Mitchell, aged 32, was discovered at an address in Birmingham earlier this week.
He had been described by his family as having “the kindest heart” and was a father of three.
Rest in peace ❤️, regardless of what he did his still someone’s love one x https://t.co/YsTd5bDynr— AVFC – The Religion (@AVFCTheReligion) March 15, 2023
Mitchell had been jailed for 14 weeks following the incident, which took place during a derby game between Aston Villa and Birmingham City at St Andrew’s stadium in March 2019.
The game had not yet reached the 10-minute mark when Mitchell charged onto the field and assaulted Grealish, who was then the Villa captain.
Mitchell was quickly wrestled off the pitch by officials, and players from both teams as well as a steward ran towards him.
Following his release from prison after just four weeks, Mitchell had reportedly claimed that his time behind bars was “the best month of my life”. However, his family and friends have now paid tribute to him, calling him a “great lad” and expressing their shock and sadness at his death.
Grealish, who is now playing for Manchester City and is an England international, had previously spoken out about the incident, stating that there is no place for violence in football.
He also revealed that he was initially unaware of what had happened during the game, saying: “I think we had a corner or a throw-in and I was walking into position and I just felt a whack around the side of the face.”
While Mitchell’s actions on the day of the match were widely condemned, his death serves as a reminder that even those who have made mistakes and poor choices in the past are still human beings who are loved and valued by those around them.
The circumstances surrounding his death are currently unknown, but it is clear that his family and friends are grieving deeply for him.