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'I let Manchester City down' – Fan apologises for confronting Ferdinand

The pitch invader who attempted to confront the Red Devils' centre-back in Sunday’s heated Manchester derby at the Etihad has apologised for his ‘out of character’ actions

The Manchester City fan who ran onto the pitch and tried to confront Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand during Sunday’s Manchester derby has issued an apology.

Matthew Stott, 21, attempted to square up to Ferdinand, who had been struck by a coin moments earlier, but was restrained by Joe Hart and subsequently arrested.

Stott has now been charged with pitch encroachment, but released a statement via his solicitors apologising to everyone involved, particularly Ferdinand, and offering remorse for his actions.

"I would like to apologise to all those affected by my actions yesterday, particularly Mr Ferdinand and the other players.

“I am extremely ashamed of my actions. I have let myself down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City Football Club.

"I intend to write personally to Mr Ferdinand to express my extreme regret and apologies and also apologise to Manchester United and their fans.

“I would like to thank Joe Hart for his actions when I came on the pitch.

"I have been a fan of Manchester City Football club all my life and I have been a season ticket holder for three years and I attend the games with my father.

“I have had the same seat in the section next to the away fans for those three years."

Rebecca Caulfield of Stephen Lickrish & Associates is the solicitor representing Stott, and she added:

"Scott is a hardworking man who has held a full time job as a landscape gardener for four years and lives with his partner of five years.

“He has never been to court before and has never been in trouble with any of the stewards at Manchester City Football Club before or at any other ground.

“He is extremely remorseful and is mortified by his behaviour which is completely out of character.

"This was a momentary mistake by Mr Stott which has led to him being charged, brought shame on his family, and will bring sanctions on the club that Mr Stott has supported all his life.

"Mr Stott will accept the consequences of his actions. He would like to make clear that he is not the stereotypical drunken football fan but a fan that attends games with his father.

“He is embarrassed and ashamed of his temporary moment of madness that has brought wider consequences on the club he supports and his fellow fans."

A City spokesperson added: "His season card has been immediately removed for the rest of the season and he has been charged to appear at court. If he is found guilty he faces a lifetime ban."

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