12 of the most shocking player vs fan punch-ups

From Everton’s Rocky dad to Cantona’s kung-fu kick – via wrestling Borat – it’s the occasions when a ‘supporter’ and player have got physical 

Everton fan vs Anthony Lopes, 2017

In October 2017’s Europa League clash at Goodison Park, one Toffee couldn't help himself getting involved when a clash started between both sets of players. A brawl developed after Ashley Williams’ rather unnecessary challenge on Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes – and one father in the crowd made his way forward to join in, landing a slap on the French goalkeeper’s face.

What made the incident so outlandish was that while one arm was being used to hit the Lyon player, the other was carrying his toddler son. The man has been banned from Goodison Park for life but defended himself, claiming that the pair were carried to the front by the fans and through a gate which should have been shut. Right.

Eric Cantona vs Crystal Palace fan, 1995

Perhaps the most shocking moment in Premier League history: Cantona aimed a kung-fu kick at Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons after he allegedly told the Manchester United man to "f*** off back to France".

Cantona had received a red card shortly before the incident for kicking out at Palace defender Richard Shaw, but that misdemeanour paled into insignificance soon after. The unrepentant ex-Leeds man, who later told FourFourTwo that he "should have punched him harder", was hit with a nine-month ban and handed 120 hours of community service.

Graham Stack vs Royal Antwerp fan, 2002

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Graham Stack was one of four Gunners loaned to Belgian side Beveren for the 2002/03 season – but he was the only one who got into it with opposition fans.

Said supporters were soon regretting their actions, though. After breaking through the gates and making their way onto the pitch, the two Antwerp followers approached Stack and got more than they bargained for, as the loanee knocked one down with a single clean punch. Who says Arsenal lack steel?

Watch Stack discussing the incident in our latest FourFourTwo Film

Petrolul fan vs George Galamaz, 2011

Referee Robert Dumitru’s decision to award Steaua Bucharest a penalty just before half-time in their Romanian league clash with Petrolul would have unimaginable consequences for Steaua’s Galamaz. As the penalty was set up, a Petrolul fan broke onto the pitch and ran at Galamaz from behind, punching him on the side of the head.

The hefty connection left the defender with a broken cheekbone, with Galamaz's hearing also damaged. His team-mates didn't take kindly to the invader's actions and proceeded to attack the supporter, which brought them two red cards.