‘Fear of their lives’ - Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin makes strong claim following Everton pitch invasion

There were two pitch invasions on Thursday evening across the leagues - both of which involved trouble with supporters and players/staff of the opposition team.

Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin believes firm action needs to be taken against pitch invaders following the recent spout of incidents across the Premier League and EFL.

The last week alone has seen Sheffield United forward Billy Sharp assaulted by a Nottingham Forest fan, Swindon Town players ‘verbally and physically abused’ by Port Vale supporters and Patrick Vieira lash out after being goaded by a small group of Evertonians.

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Whilst it is only a small number of football fans at fault in all the above scenarios, the issue as a whole has ramped up more than ever this season across the country and the minority are once again bringing a dark cloud over the beautiful game.

Despite the heroics of the Toffees to retain their Premier League status on Thursday evening, the game itself was overshadowed by the aftermath which saw Vieira get into a spat with an Everton fan.

And former Villa man Dublin is adamant more needs to be done as club officials will soon be ‘in fear of their lives’ during big matches.

“We don’t want to see it at all and we know how overjoyed the Everton fans are but you can’t be doing that,” he told Sky Sports.

“You can’t be pushing managers and pushing players, touching players and shouting in their face. It’s just not what we want to see.

“We know it’s the minority, we know it’s only one or two that spoil it for everybody else but having fans on the pitch is not the way we forward.”

“We have to stop letting fans or allowing fans to get on the pitch, it’s too dangerous,” he added.

“What happens if you make an announcement before the game - ‘anyone that runs on the pitch gets a lifetime ban,’ they aren’t going to go on the pitch then are they?

“Fans need to enjoy the experience, don’t spoil it, enjoy it from the stands.

“We can’t have players and staff in fear of their lives if fans run on the pitch.”

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