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Surprise twist emerges over headbutt incident between Oxford and Sunderland

A surprise twist emerges over the much talked about headbutt incident between an Oxford United keeper and a Sunderland coach.

In the post-match interview, it was claimed that police were contacted over an alleged headbutt on U’s youngster Jack Stevens by a member of the Black Cats in the tunnel at half time.

Despite falling behind first, Sunderland went on to win 3-1, a boost to Lee Johnson’s side for League One promotion, however it was marred by an incident during the break.

Karl Robinson on what happened in the tunnel at half-time: “Their players know what went on. Our goalkeeper will be making a charge. We’ll leave the rest to the police.”

This club has had more cameras than any other club in football in the last two years – but strangely there’s no cameras in the tunnel at half-time. I know what went on though.”

Karl tells the Oxford Mail that young keeper Jack Stevens was head-butted in the tunnel at half-time. U’s players waited for the police to turn up post-match.

“There was a melee at half-time. Jack’s walked behind him, he has turned round and head-butted him.”

Karl Robinson said he wasn’t naming who’s alleged to have done it and says officials didn’t see it.

Robinson said Kettle had missed the half-time fracas, with the official not taking any action at the time.

The U’s manager was not present for the incident itself and neither was his opposite number.

Johnson claimed it was not all one-way.

He said: “He’s (Robinson) got to be careful, I’ll tell you that.

“There are always two sides to any story.

“Let me tell you, there was a lot of Oxford staff that didn’t come out of it smelling of roses, let’s just say that.”

He told the Northern Echo: “Look, it happens all the time, especially in a condensed area.

“It was handbags a lot of it.

“It happened at the end as well, which is not ideal, and I think that one was provoked, to be honest with you.

“As a football club, I want us to act with class, but I also want us to look after each other when there’s moments.

“Today, we had to look after each other in that tunnel because it was an incident that wasn’t great to see, but at the same time, probably not worth being blown out of proportion because not a lot happened.”

Karl adds: “The result will say different and it’s all about the result, but I’m proud of my players and they’ll gain confidence from this.

“There was an anger because we played well enough to get something out of the game.

“The frustration is that when your players give you everything and things go against them, you feel for them.

“I’m sure there won’t be one Oxford fan who will be disappointed by our players’ fight and determination.

“We’re talking more about the referee’s deficiencies rather than my players’ performance, and I think that was exceptional.”


Journalist Craig Hope tweeted a surprise twist on Saturday, saying: “Understand Oxford will not be pursuing police action in light of allegations that a member of SAFC coaching staff headbutted their goalkeeper Jack Stevens during tunnel brawl y’day. Club consider the matter to be over.”

Sky Sports had contacted Northumbria Police to find out more about what happened at the Stadium of Light.

They ended up being told that the police are yet to receive any reports of an incident between Oxford and Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Fans reacted as a surprise twist emerges over headbutt incident between Oxford and Sunderland…

@Sunder_LAD: That’s ultra-relieving.

@_FreddieBoswell: What goes on in the tunnel should stay in the tunnel

@GeorgeySibun: If someone gets headbutted it shouldn’t. If you can get sent off after the game has finished then whoever it was should have been sent off at HT.

@bcb1994: How far they’ve fallen derbies with Newcastle to beefing with Karl Robinson and Oxford.

@mattythompson95: Hahaha laughable

@ForeverAYellow: Judging from the video, something definitely happened in the tunnel, players clearly have seen something then rush down to deal with it, all a bit odd

@JustBrowsingTa: You mean Karl Robinson was talking shite? Karl. Robinson?!? Surely not… Big scouse puddin

@paulthomase: Cause it was a load of shite. Just sore losers

@AlanBsafc: Cos it was bullshit!!! #safc should take legal action against Oxford for being fannies

@Joecsmith11: Karl Robinson is the biggest gobshite in football pass it on #safc #oufc

@SAFCLiam17: I think the word embarrassing is an understatement

@neil91265: Karl Robinson showed his self right up , wait till the fans get back #safc bet there are songs already writing for him

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