Hooligan jailed for 16 weeks for goalkeeper attack

Associated Press Modified: October 22, 2012 at 9:02 am •  Published: October 22, 2012

SHEFFIELD, England (AP) — A football hooligan was jailed for 16 weeks Monday for assaulting a goalkeeper during an English league game following an all-day drinking binge.

Aaron Cawley, a 21-year-old from Cheltenham, told police he was so intoxicated after drinking a mix of lager, cider and vodka that he doesn't remember joining a pitch invasion and shoving former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland in the face during Sheffield Wednesday's match against Leeds on Friday.

Cawley, a Leeds fans, pleaded guilty Monday to charges of assault and entering the field of play when he appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court. He received a six-year banning order from football grounds — the third time he has been handed such a sanction.

Leeds said it will ban Cawley for life from the team's Elland Road ground once the banning order expires, but felt the sentence was too lenient.

"While we are pleased to see justice brought so quickly, our one disappointment is that we feel the sentence could, and should, have been considerably longer," Leeds said in a statement.

Kirkland, who plays for Wednesday and won his one cap for England in 2006, needed medical treatment after being knocked to the ground by Cawley amid violent scenes at Hillsborough, which was all broadcast live on British television. Kirkland told police it was like he had been "hit by a ton of bricks."

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