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Family speak out with death of Paul Mitchell, 32, who punched Jack Grealish, confirmed

Family have chosen to speak out with the death of Birmingham fan Paul Mitchell, 32, who punched Jack Grealish, confirmed this week.

The Blues supporter was discovered at an address in the Birmingham area, wit tributes being paid by loved ones, describing him as having “the kindest heart”.

Friends of the dad-of-three added he was “great lad”, while Debbie Drew, his Mum, said: “Our family loved him so much.”

Family speak out with death of Paul Mitchell, 32, who punched Jack Grealish, confirmed

His cousin Lucy Mitchell told The Sun: “Paul absolutely adored his three children.

“He always had a smile on his face no matter what. He had the kindest heart. He is sadly going to be missed by a lot of people.

“He was a very popular man. It won’t be the same without him here anymore.”

She added he seemed his “happy normal self” when other people saw him on Saturday.

Paul will be remembered by the world of football to being arrested after legging it onto the pitch at St Andrew’s during a local derby fixture against Aston Villa in March 2019.

He targeted then-Villa captain Grealish and thew a punch at the unaware player from behind before officials dragged him off the pitch.

After being issued a 14 week jail sentence, he ended up being let out just four weeks into that term.

Te incident occurred in the 10th minute, with both sets of players with the stewards making their feelings known to the thug.

Speaking about the attack, Grealish said: “I was just unaware at the time.

“I think we had a corner or a throw-in and I was walking into position and I just felt a whack around the side of the face.

“There’s rivalry in football but I don’t think there is any place for that really.”

Paul Mitchell described his time in prison as “the best month of my life. It was hard being away from my family but everything was good.”

When questioned about if he regretted his actions, he said: “I’m not prepared to discuss that. I’m not apologising for nothing.”

In 2022, he was sent to jail again for ignoring a ten-year football ban.

The football fan spent time in jail after punching Jack Grealish in 2019

By attending the Blues’ local derby with West Brom in April 2022, he had breached the 10 year order.

Mitchell encroached onto the running track after Lyle Taylor scored a winning goal.

After his attack on Grealish in 2019, he was banned from being within the immediate vicinity of St. Andrew’s.

He is said to have entered the ground to help his friend who was disabled by accompanying him at the match.

Mitchell was convicted of violating a banning order and also admitted offences of failing to comply with a banning order and going onto an area adjacent to the playing area at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, the 6th of September.

His lawyer asked for a community order, or a suspended sentence because his client had “turned his life around”. District Judge David Wain sent him to jail for 12 weeks.

Mitchell gave his Mum a hug in the public gallery, before saying: “It’s six months.”

Prosecutor Simon Brownsey, said on his latest offences, said: “On Sunday April 3 this year Birmingham City played against West Bromwich Albion. It was a Championship fixture. The game was held at St. Andrew’s.

“Birmingham City scored during the second half and this defendant was seen clearly on CCTV in the lower tier of the main stand celebrating by going onto the running track which surrounds the playing area. He then returned to the stand following the celebration. He was identified some weeks after when staff were going through CCTV.”

Shabeer Qureshi, defending, called for an adjournment and for a ‘pre-sentence report’ to be completed by the probation service claiming his client was a ‘completely different gentleman’ to the one jailed in 2019.

However, Judge Wain said: “On this occasion you deliberately ignored such a ban and have done so in the most dramatic way possible.

“Not only going to the match but going onto the pitch. It was not onto the full pitch or again in a violent way.”

Mitchell was also ordered to pay a £128 victim surcharge.

A spokesman for Birmingham City Football Club had said at the time of the punch incident that the pitch invader will be banned for life.

They said: ‘Birmingham City Football Club would like to apologise to Jack Grealish and Aston Villa Football Club for an incident in this afternoon’s derby match.

‘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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