Oli McBurnie and Rhian Brewster: Sheffield United pair to be charged over incident in Championship play-off semi-final vs Nottingham Forest

June 23, 2022

Two Sheffield United footballers will be charged after a police investigation into incidents during the club's play-off semi-final loss to Nottingham Forest.

The club said it was "disappointed" to learn that Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie face criminal action following an inquiry by Nottinghamshire Police.

The two players have been informed that summonses have been issued and both are to be charged with common assault in relation to disorder. They will appear at Nottingham Magistrates' Court on July 28.

The charges relate to the club's Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final, second-leg match at the City Ground, in Nottingham, against Forest.

The home side won the match 3-2 on penalties.

The fixture, on May 17, then saw a pitch invasion by victorious Forest fans - during which Blades' skipper Billy Sharp was assaulted and a man later charged.

The Yorkshire club, in a statement posted on its website, said: "Sheffield United Football Club is disappointed to learn that Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie [will be] charged following the incidents that took place at the EFL Championship play-off semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest last month.

"Both players voluntarily engaged in interviews with Nottinghamshire Police in the aftermath of the fixture which saw their team-mate, Billy Sharp, the victim of assault in the chaos which followed the final whistle.

"Brewster and McBurnie strenuously deny the charges brought against them and football manager Paul Heckingbottom, who wrote letters to the League Managers' Association, the Professional Footballers' Association, the EFL and FA following a number of pitch invasions last month - including one involving Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira - is continuing discussions with key stakeholders in a bid to better protect players and staff in their place of work."

Sheffield United overturned a two-goal deficit to level the tie at 3-3 on aggregate and force extra-time and penalties, but their spirited fightback was extinguished in the shootout when goalkeeper Brice Samba saved three spot-kicks to send Forest to Wembley.

The development comes after a man was jailed for 24 weeks for assaulting Sheffield United captain Sharp during the pitch invasion.

Forest season-ticket holder Robert Biggs, from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm which left Sharp requiring four stitches to a wound to his lip.

He was jailed at Nottingham Magistrates' Court last month. Biggs appeared in court in custody and did not oppose an application for a football banning order during the hearing.

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