Two exponents of very different kinds of finishes shared breakfast on Tuesday as Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp enjoyed a visit from WWE legend Mick Foley.

Sharp has been pivotal to the Blades' promotion charge, scoring 22 goals in 32 Championship games, and celebrated one of his two efforts in the 2-2 draw with Norwich City by pulling Foley's Mr Socko sock puppet from his shorts and recreating his famous 'Mandible Claw' finishing move on team-mate George Baldock.

And Sharp met the man himself prior to United's clash with Brentford as Foley, invited to the game at Bramall Lane, showed up at the forward's home.

Sharp wrote on Twitter: "Big mick @RealMickFoley is in the house, in my house to be exact. It’s a bit surreal to have breakfast with a true wrestling legend."

The 33-year-old Sharp said the signed Mr Socko replica had been provided to him by an old friend from an amateur side. Perhaps Foley provided him with a spare to reprise the celebration.

The Birmingham City supporter who attacked Jack Grealish during Aston Villa's 1-0 win at St. Andrew's has pleaded guilty to pitch invasion and assault.

Villa captain Grealish was punched from behind by the pitch invader in the early stages of Sunday's derby.

West Midlands Police confirmed Paul Mitchell, 27, was charged after the game and he appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Birmingham City confirmed Mr Mitchell has been banned from the Championship club for life.

Grealish showed no ill effects from the incident and went on to score the only goal in his side's 1-0 victory before leaping over the advertising hoarding to celebrate with the away supporters.

The police made four arrests in total for suspected assault or violent disorder offences.

The man who attacked Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has been charged by police and will face court on Monday.

Villa captain Grealish was punched from behind by a pitch invader in the early stages of Sunday's derby against Birmingham City.

West Midlands Police confirmed Paul Mitchell, 27, had been charged with "invading the pitch and assaulting" Grealish.

"We've this evening [Sun 10 March] charged a man with invading the pitch and assaulting Aston Villa player Jack Grealish during the Second City derby," they said in a statement on Twitter.

"Paul Mitchell, aged 27, of Rubery, has been remanded in custody to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court tomorrow [Mon 11 March]."

Birmingham City had earlier announced the supporter would be banned for life.

Grealish showed no ill effects from the incident and went on to score the only goal in his side's 1-0 victory before leaping over the advertising hoarding to celebrate with the away supporters.

The police made four arrests in total for suspected assault or violent disorder offences.

The Birmingham City fan who attacked Jack Grealish is in custody while a steward was spoken to following the Aston Villa star's goal at St Andrew's, police have confirmed.

Villa captain Grealish was punched from behind by a pitch invader in the early stages of Sunday's derby.

A 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of encroachment onto the pitch and assault, with hosts Birmingham announcing the individual will be banned for life.

Grealish showed no ill effects from the incident and went on to score the only goal in his side's 1-0 victory before leaping over the advertising hoarding to celebrate with the away supporters.

Television footage showed a member of security being led away by authorities after appearing to forcibly push the 23-year-old back onto the playing field.

West Midlands Police confirmed a steward was spoken to in the aftermath of Grealish's goal but that "no offence has been reported at this stage".

"An attack on a player is completely unacceptable and outrageous," match commander, superintendent Nick Rowe said of the initial incident.
 
"The vast majority of people were well behaved but unfortunately the occasion has been marred by this.
 
"We currently have a man in custody for questioning and will be working with Birmingham City Football Club as we fully investigate what happened."

The police made four arrests in total for suspected assault or violent disorder offences.

Enquiries are ongoing relating to objects being thrown at officers, while offensive social media posts directed towards Grealish will be reviewed.

A jubilant Jack Grealish described scoring the winner for Aston Villa against Birmingham City after being punched by a pitch invader as "the best day" of his life.

Grealish, Villa's captain on the day, was attacked less than 10 minutes into a heated affair at St Andrew's when a man entered the field of play and struck him around the neck and jaw from behind.

Players from both teams checked on the midfielder's welfare and he went on to score the decisive goal in Villa's 1-0 victory, beating Lee Camp from just inside the box in the 67th minute.

Grealish said the ugly incident, which led to an individual being arrested by West Midlands Police, took him by surprise, but did not overshadow a proud day.

"I was just unaware at the time," Grealish told Sky Sports when asked about the attack.

"I was walking into position and I just felt a whack around the side of the face. Obviously there's rivalry in football but I don't think there's any place for that really.

"I just tried to get on with my job in the end and I think I did. It was unbelievable to get the winner in front of the fans after what happened.

"It's the best day of my life to come here as captain of Aston Villa and score the winner. It's what dreams are made of, especially being an Aston Villa fan."

Grealish's winner lifted Villa to ninth in the Championship, a point above their Second City rivals.

Birmingham City have issued an apology to Jack Grealish and confirmed the man who attacked the Aston Villa midfielder will be banned from St Andrew's for life.

The Villa captain was punched from behind by a man who encroached onto the field in the early stages of Sunday's derby clash.

Grealish appeared to be struck on the neck and jaw but showed few ill effects as he later went on to score the winner.

With the EFL having already condemned the incident while the match was still ongoing, Birmingham also put out a strong statement at the end of the Championship fixture.

It read: "Birmingham City Football Club would like to apologise to Jack Grealish and Aston Villa Football Club for an incident in this afternoon's derby match.

"We deplore the behaviour of the individual who committed this act and rest assured he will be banned from St Andrew's for life. The club will also support any further punishment this individual may face in the eyes of the law.

"The club will be working with the relevant authorities to investigate all the circumstances and we will be reviewing our stadium safety procedures.

"What happened has no place in football or society. Jack is a Birmingham lad and regardless of club allegiance should not have been subjected to this – there are no excuses.

"Again, we apologise to Jack and all at Aston Villa Football Club."

West Midlands Police tweeted to confirm that a man had been arrested following the incident.

Jack Grealish dramatically gave Aston Villa a 1-0 win at Birmingham City after being attacked by a pitch invader in the early stages of Sunday's derby.

Villa captain Grealish was felled by a punch to the neck and jaw region when a man ran onto the pitch in the opening 10 minutes of the Championship clash at St Andrew's.

A steward led the individual away off the field and West Midlands Police later confirmed a man had been arrested "following the incident on the pitch involving an attack on an Aston Villa player".

Players from both teams checked on the welfare of Grealish and the 23-year-old proved the match-winner in the 67th minute, beating Lee Camp with a left-footed effort from just inside the box and running to celebrate with the away fans behind the goal.

Anwar El Ghazi, Tammy Abraham and Andre Green had earlier squandered chances to break the deadlock, while Conor Hourihane rattled the crossbar with a thumping strike 15 minutes from full-time.

Craig Gardner wasted two late opportunities to equalise for the hosts as Dean Smith's men held on for a second straight victory, lifting them into ninth and back to within four points of the play-off places.

Birmingham, who have now lost two on the trot, slid back to 11th, one point behind their rivals.

The EFL has condemned the attack on Jack Grealish that marred the opening of the derby match between Birmingham City and Aston Villa on Sunday.

A man ran onto the St Andrew's pitch and aimed a punch at the Villa midfielder, who was facing the opposite direction and appeared to be caught on the neck and jaw. 

Play was stopped while stewards restrained the man, who has since been arrested, before Grealish – who later scored the winner – was helped to his feet.

The EFL released a statement when the game was still in progress, with the governing body denouncing the "mindless actions" of Grealish's assailant. 

It read: "The EFL condemns the mindless actions of the individual who encroached on to the pitch at St Andrew's on Sunday afternoon. 

"It's a situation no player should ever be faced with.

"In all circumstances the playing surface is for players, not supporters and those playing in the game must be able to do so safe in the knowledge they will not be subjected to this type of behaviour. 

"While this incident falls within the remit of the Football Association, we will work with all the relevant parties to address the issue of player and match officials' safety on the pitch and ensure the appropriate action is taken."

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish was punched around the head by a pitch invader in the early stages of their derby clash with Birmingham City at St Andrew's.

A man ran onto the field and aimed a blow at the attacking midfielder, who was jogging in the opposite direction, and seemingly caught him on the neck and jaw.

Play was halted as stewards raced on to restrain the man before they led him to a nearby police officer, while players from both teams offered embraces to the 23-year-old.

Grealish last week returned from a shin injury that had sidelined him since early December and scored in a 4-0 rout of Derby County.

West Brom have dismissed Darren Moore after they were left nine points outside the Championship's top two following Saturday's 1-1 home draw against struggling Ipswich Town.

The disappointing result extended the Baggies' winless run to three matches and head coach Moore has paid the price for failing to mount a stronger bid for automatic promotion.

The 44-year-old former West Brom defender took over as caretaker following Alan Pardew's dismissal in April 2018, when the club were still in the Premier League, and earned the job permanently the following month.

His team were hammered 4-0 by promotion rivals Leeds United last weekend but sit comfortably inside the playoff places with 10 matches remaining in the regular season.

"This has been an enormously difficult decision for a club which will always hold Darren in such high regard," chief executive Mark Jenkins said in a statement.

"He took over at a very difficult time last season and reunited the club, a contribution that will never be forgotten.

"But we have made it clear from the outset that everything this season was geared to making as swift a return to the Premier League as possible. 

"Unfortunately Darren has not been able to engineer the consistency of form and results to convince the board that this objective would be met."

Moore's assistants Graeme Jones and Wayne Jacobs have also been removed from their posts, with first-team coach James Shan placed in charge on an interim basis.

Norwich City moved five points clear at the Championship summit with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Swansea City on Friday.

Emi Buendia's solitary strike was the difference at Carrow Road and has cranked the pressure up on title rivals Leeds United and Sheffield United, who face Bristol City and Rotherham United respectively on Saturday.

Daniel Farke's side started sluggishly and were indebted to a number of Tim Krul saves in the first half to keep them in the game.

The former Newcastle United goalkeeper pushed away Daniel James' drive, kept out George Byers' effort from distance and then clawed out Bersant Celina's deflected shot.

That set the scene for Buendia to score the game's decisive goal nine minutes after the interval. The Argentine took a touch from Onel Hernandez's pass before unleashing an unstoppable left-foot drive into the roof of Kristoffer Nordfeldt's net.

Teemu Pukki went close to adding a second late on but it mattered little as Norwich held on for a fourth consecutive Championship win, while Swansea remain in 14th - seven points away from the play-off places.

Mason Bennett scored a spectacular equaliser as Derby County fought back from a goal down to beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 at Pride Park on Tuesday.

Frank Lampard's men had not won in almost a month heading into this game, losing their last four in all competitions, but a precious victory took them level on points with sixth-placed Bristol City in the Championship.

Derby had looked destined for more disappointment when they failed to capitalise on numerous first-half chances and Wigan instead led as Gavin Massey netted following a 25th-minute break.

The Rams continued to find life tough in the second half, but the introduction of Bennett in the 57th minute changed the course of the game.

Five minutes later, the winger met Scott Malone's left-wing cross with a sensational twisting volley with his back to goal, looping the ball over goalkeeper Jamie Jones.

Derby kept pushing and Malone netted the winner 12 minutes from time, prodding Jayden Bogle's cross into the net, with the hosts easing to the finish and almost adding a third when Martyn Waghorn hit the post.

Sheffield United were unable to climb back into the automatic promotion places in the Championship as they played out a second goalless derby draw with Sheffield Wednesday this season.

Wednesday, who have been revitalised under new boss Steve Bruce, passed up the best chance of a cagey affair at Hillsborough when Sam Hutchinson was unable to finish midway through the second half.

Kieren Westwood made an early save to deny United's former Wednesday striker Gary Madine from Oliver Norwood's cross.

It proved to be a first half short on clear chances and Madine was frustrated to have penalty claims rejected after tangling with Michael Hector.

Wednesday created their clearest opening in the 65th minute, with Rolando Aarons' magnificent cross catching out the United backline, only for Hutchinson to prod his close-range effort straight at Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

United pushed their hosts back and looked the most likely winners during the final quarter of an hour, but Wednesday held firm and Chris Wilder's team stay third – two points behind second-placed Leeds United and four shy of leaders Norwich City with 11 games remaining.

Norwich City returned to the top of the Championship after battling to a 3-1 away victory over Millwall, while Derby County's play-off hopes were dented in a heavy defeat to Aston Villa.

After Leeds United's impressive win over promotion rivals West Brom on Friday, the Canaries did what they had to do on Saturday to move two points above Marcelo Bielsa's men at the summit.

Two of the other teams in the top six did not fare so well, as Middlesbrough were held to a goalless draw at Wigan Athletic and Bristol City also had to settle for a point in a 1-1 away draw with Preston North End.

Villa led by four goals at the break in their 4-0 home romp against Derby, with Brentford, Hull City, Reading, Rotherham United, Stoke City and Swansea City the other teams to taste victory.
 

NORWICH DO THE JOB TO LEAD ONCE AGAIN

Norwich's statement was not as emphatic as that of Leeds, but with 11 games remaining Daniel Farke's men are in the box seat for a place in the Premier League.

They did not have it all their own way against Millwall, with Marco Stiepermann's opener pegged back by Shuan Williams' header just before half-time.

However, Norwich captain Christoph Zimmermann netted with an aerial effort of his own after the break and an impressive Teemu Pukki finish – the Championship top scorer's 24th league goal of the season – sealed a fifth win in six.

In the race for automatic promotion, all eyes are now on third-placed Sheffield United, who are away to rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Monday.

DERBY HAMMERED… BUT IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE

It was a miserable day for Derby as they were thrashed by Villa, but the damage could have been even worse on a day that started badly with Conor Hourihane netting in the ninth minute.

It looked like they were on course for an even more humiliating scoreline than 4-0 after a dreadful eight minutes before half-time saw them concede three times through Tammy Abraham, a second from Hourihane and a stunning volley from Jack Grealish on his return from injury.

But fortunately for the Rams that was the end of the scoring, and in terms of the league table, Bristol City and Middlesbrough's failure to win kept them within striking distance of the top six, but Frank Lampard will undoubtedly be concerned by a third straight loss without scoring.

FALSE ALARM FOR HULL

In an odd moment, Hull fans were twice told to leave the KCOM Stadium in a false alarm announced by the automatic public-address system. It did not distract the hosts, though, as they beat Birmingham City 2-0 courtesy of Jarrod Bowen's double.

That was the same score as Swansea City defeated nine-man Bolton Wanderers, two goals in the last 10 minutes breaking the shorthanded visitors' hearts.

Stoke were also 2-0 winners, beating Nottingham Forest, while Brentford defeated QPR 3-0 and Semi Ajayi's double saw Rotherham win 3-2 against Blackburn Rovers.

Bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town suffered a 2-1 home loss to relegation rivals Reading, Mo Barrow scoring a last-minute winner.

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