Paul Mitchell, 27, has been arrested and charged by West Midlands Police over the shocking incident

Dean Saunders launched an impassioned tirade against the Birmingham City supporter who punched Jack Grealish during the Second City derby.

Grealish was struck on the side of the head by a Birmingham fan less than 10 minutes into Sunday’s match.

Players from both sides furiously confronted the Birmingham fan who assaulted Grealish

Players from both sides furiously confronted the Birmingham fan who assaulted Grealish

The attacker was quickly wrestled to the ground by players and stewards and has since been arrested by police.

Grealish then went on to score the winning goal in the game.

The hooligan, named as 27-year-old Paul Mitchell, was later charged with invading the pitch and assaulting Grealish by West Midlands Police.

Saunders, who played for Villa between 1992 and 1995, branded the attacker a “coward” on talkSPORT: “I have played football all my life, and I’ve never been so shocked.

“That is absolutely scandalous.”

Saunders added: “He’s got to get jailed. Give him five years.

“He’s let Birmingham down, he’s let football down, he’s let the country down. Think about the implications for your children and my children.

“You’re going to end up putting fences back round the ground where people can’t watch the games properly.

“What he’s done today has ruined not just football in England, this will go round the world, it gives idiots ideas.”

Jack Grealish recovered from the assault to score the deciding goal in the derby with twenty minutes to go

Jack Grealish recovered from the assault to score the deciding goal in the derby with twenty minutes to go

Grealish is mobbed by teammates after his dramatic winner

Grealish is mobbed by teammates after his dramatic winner

Saunders also believes that the incident is indicative of wider problems in society.

He continued: “You’ve got Tavernier (referring to Rangers captain, James Tavernier, who was confronted by a Hibernian supporter during the sides’ match on Friday this week), Brendan Rodgers’ house gets burgled, you’ve got knife crime in England like you’ve never seen before, you’ve got people throwing glass bottles on the pitch (referring to the incident last Saturday in which Celtic’s Scott Sinclair was almost hit with a glass bottle at Hibs).

“Nobody’s got any respect for anybody anymore, it’s not just football, this (incident) just brings it all to a head.

“They’ve got to start stamping on people who are making other people’s lives difficult.”

Saunders emphasised that in his opinion, there is no limit to how severely the incident should be punished “even if you said we’re going to relegate Birmingham for it.”

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