'I'm ashamed and have let my family down': Man City fan who confronted Ferdinand says sorry after bursting on to pitch at shameful climax to manic derby
15:49 GMT, 10 December 2012
The Manchester City supporter who ran on to the pitch to confront Rio Ferdinand has issued a grovelling apology for his action during a tumultuous derby on Sunday afternoon.
Matthew Stott, 21, was restrained by Blues keeper Joe Hart and then arrested after he raced onto the Etihad Stadium pitch following Robin van Persie's stunning late winner.
He has since been charged with pitch encroachment and has released a statement through his solicitors. In the meantime, City have removed his season ticket with immediate effect and he will be banned from the stadium for life if found guilty in court of a charge of pitch encroachment.
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Nicked: The City fan is hauled off by police and stewards after attempting to confront Ferdinand
In the statement, the landscape gardener, from Knutsford, said: 'I would like to apologise to all those affected by my actions yesterday, particularly Mr Ferdinand and the other players. I am extremely ashamed of my actions. I have let myself down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City Football Club.
'I intend to write personally to Mr Ferdinand to express my extreme regret and apologies and also apologise to Manchester United and their fans. I would like to thank Joe Hart for his actions when I came on the pitch.'
'I have been a fan of Manchester City Football club all my life and I have been a season ticket holder for three years and I attend the games with my father. I have had the same seat in the section next to the away fans for those three years.'
Rebecca Caulfield, solicitor at Stephen Lickrish and Associates, is representing Stott.
Ashamed: Hart steps in to stop the situation escalating after the winner had been scored
She said: 'Scott is a hard working man who has held a full time job as a landscape gardener for four years and lives with his partner of five years.
'He has never been to court before and has never been in trouble with any of the stewards at Manchester City Football Club before or at any other ground. He is extremely remorseful and is mortified by his behaviour which is completely out of character.
'This was a momentary mistake by Mr Stott which has led to him being charged, brought shame on his family, and will bring sanctions on the club that Mr Stott has supported all his life.
'Mr Stott will accept the consequences of his actions. He would like to make clear that he is not the stereotypical drunken football fan but a fan that attends games with his father.
Apology: Stott plans to write to Ferdinand to express his regret
'He is embarrassed and ashamed of his temporary moment of madness that has brought wider consequences on the club he supports and his fellow fans.'
Greater Manchester Police today confirmed nine people had been charged in connection with trouble at yesterday's Manchester derby.
Among the charges faced by the nine people are racially aggravated public order and pitch encroachment.
Police are still hunting for the person who threw the coin which struck Rio Ferdinand above the eye.
A City spokeman confirmed: 'His season card has been immediately removed for the rest of the season
and he has been charged to appear at court. If he is found guilty he
faces a lifetime ban.'
VIDEO: Fans react to the aftermath of the violence…
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