The Arsenal fan who ran onto the pitch to attack Manchester United’s Chris Smalling on Sunday is Tyson Fury’s cousin.
Gary Cooper jumped onto the field at the Emirates, ran over to the centre-back and shoved him, during Arsenal’s 2-0 win over United.
Cooper says he was running onto the field to celebrate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal from the penalty spot in the second half and Smalling was simply in his way. However, he admits being ashamed of his actions and has apologised to the England international for his actions.
‘I am just so ashamed and have let myself and my family down,’ Cooper told MailOnline. ‘What happened was out of character. I am still in shock and feel awful.
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‘I want to apologies to Chris Smalling, Manchester United and to Arsenal. ‘I got caught up in the emotion of the game and made a foolish mistake to run on to the pitch. ‘I had no intention of approaching Chris Smalling. He happened to be there as I ran to congratulate the Arsenal players.’
Cooper claimed he had not seen and was not influenced by the incident earlier in the same day which saw a Birmingham fan attack Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish at St Andrew’s.
He also sensationally revealed that he is a cousin of undefeated heavyweight boxing star Tyson Fury. ‘We were close as kids but do not see so much of him now,’ Cooper continued.
‘But I am very proud of what he has done.’ 30-year-old Cooper, who is a decorator from Surrey was charged with common assault and going onto the playing area. Arsenal also confirmed that Cooper will be banned from both home and away games.
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