Paul Mitchell, 27, ran onto the pitch during the Second City derby and punched Villa player Grealish on the back of the head .

West Midlands police have charged a man with invading the pitch and the assault on Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish during the Second City derby on Sunday.

Birmingham City fan Paul Mitchell, 27, who punched Grealish on the back of the head, is remanded in custody and will appear before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

A fan punched Grealish from behind

A fan punched Grealish from behind

Grealish was knocked to the floor in the incident

Grealish was knocked to the floor in the incident

The man was restrained by a steward as it happened

The man was restrained by a steward as it happened

It sparked a huge melee involving both sets of players

It sparked a huge melee involving both sets of players

The man was led away by the authorities

The man was led away by the authorities

The incident happened in the ninth minute of the Championship clash.

Grealish was struck on the side of the head by Mitchell, who ran on to the field less than 10 minutes into the match before throwing a punch from behind the midfielder as he stood in the Birmingham penalty area.

He was quickly restrained by stewards as several other Villa players rushed in to confront him. He was led away by police, blowing kisses to the crowd as he left.

Grealish then went on to score the winning goal, securing the 1-0 victory for Villa.

West Midlands police confirmed late on Sunday: “We’ve this evening charged a man with invading the pitch and assaulting Aston Villa player Jack Grealish during the Second City derby.

“Paul Mitchell, aged 27, of Rubery, has been remanded in custody to appear before B’ham Mags Court tomorrow (Mon 11 March).”

Jack Grealish celebrates his match-winning strike

Jack Grealish celebrates his match-winning strike

Birmingham, Aston Villa and the EFL have denounced the attack as a ‘disgraceful’ incident, with the EFL pledging to work with the Football Association to ‘ensure appropriate action is taken’.

Villa said in a statement: “A red line has been crossed by this cowardly on-field assault on a player, which is unprecedented in English football.”

“We trust the perpetrator will feel the full force of the law and the authorities investigate the circumstances surrounding today’s deplorable incident.

“Local rivalries are part of the fabric of the game. However, as we are sure our friends at Birmingham City would agree, to have a player’s personal safety placed under such jeopardy is a serious cause for concern for the entire football community.”

Birmingham went on to say they will ban the man for life from St Andrew’s.

A statement read: “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.”

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The English Football League and Football Association also condemned the attack.

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