Police and West Brom investigate Brunt incident

Matt Stead

The police plan to speak to West Brom midfielder Chris Brunt as part of their investigations into “a number of incidents” in the aftermath of Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Reading.

Brunt was hit by a coin thrown from his own fans amid what the club labelled “sickening” scenes at the end of their fifth round defeat.

The Northern Ireland international had gone over to applaud the visiting supporters following the 3-1 loss but went down clutching his face as he approached the away end.

Brunt, who suffered a cut under his left eye, said a coin had been thrown at him by the fans, while West Brom manager Tony Pulis claimed the player could have been blinded.

Both the Football Association and Thames Valley Police are investigating the incident, as well as further crowd disturbances in the Albion end of the Madejski Stadium.

Sergeant Richard Noone of Thames Valley Police’s Tactical and Football Operations said: “We are investigating a number of incidents during the FA Cup match between Reading and West Bromwich Albion at the Madejski Stadium.

“There were a number of incidents of disorder during the second half, including objects being thrown between those sitting in the home section and those sitting in the away section. A bottle was also thrown in the direction of a Reading player.

“Also during the second half, a 37-year-old man from Sandwell, West Midlands, was arrested for a racially aggravated public order offence. The arrest was in connection with an incident during which a steward was verbally abused. The man who was arrested has been released on police bail until April 1.

“Further, after the game, a West Bromwich Albion player was struck by an object thrown from the crowd. The player was treated for a cut to his face by medical staff at the stadium. We will be speaking to the player in due course to discuss the matter.

“We would ask anyone with any information about these incidents to contact Thames Valley Police immediately.

“I would particularly appeal to anyone who has videos of these incidents to contact police, as such footage might aid our investigations.”

West Brom released a statement on Saturday night vowing to impose “the severest of sanctions” on the culprit who allegedly threw the coin at Brunt.

It is understood that the fan has been identified by stewards in a picture which has now been passed to police and the Barclays Premier League club will issue a lifetime ban if they are found guilty.