Former Aston Villa hero Lee Hendrie has had his say on the surreal scenes at St Andrew’s this past weekend in the Second City derby between Birmingham City and Aston Villa.
The former captain of the Championship club was speaking to talkSPORT on Monday afternoon to discuss the incident.
Grealish was punched by a man who ran onto the pitch and hit him in the side of the head.
The man has since been jailed and dealt with the relative authorises, and Hendrie was appalled at what he witnessed last Sunday.
“To do what he did to Jack was just absolutely despicable. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” Hendrie said.
“I look back at the [Chris] Kirkland incident where the guy’s come on and pushed Chris in the face, but to be there and witness it was absolutely disgusting.
“Jack’s lucky in my eyes. How do we know [what people might do]? These days, the society we’re in – knife crime is at its highest, people are doing things which we don’t expect.”
Hendrie also revealed he spoke to the attacker after the game and praised his response to being assaulted – branding Grealish as a role model for younger people.
“I love the way he responded in his interview; he just said it how it was, ‘I’ve had the best day of my life, and I’ve scored the goal,” he added.
“That’s something that young people should be looking at and taking on board. People like that idiot who runs on and tries to cause so many problems.
“It hasn’t fazed him one bit, as you can see, he went and scored the winner and Villa went on to a fantastic victory.”
I make Hendrie right in regards to how Grealish responded to the attack – it was first class.
He could have easily have blown his top and look to retaliate, but he took it all in his stride and showed maturity beyond his years.
The matter has been dealt with, and a line can be drawn under it, once the EFL have dealt with the issue.
Hendrie knows what the Second City derby is like, but the passion should never overspill to the scenes we all witnessed this past weekend.