Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Hibs fan sentenced for punching Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal

Zdenek Zlamal Image copyright SNS
Image caption Zdenek Zlamal falls to the turf after being attacked while trying to recover the ball

A Hibs fan who punched Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal during a game has been banned from football matches in Scotland for 12 months and ordered to perform 150 hours of unpaid work.

Edward Harrold, 21, from Musselburgh, was found guilty of the attack at Tynecastle Stadium after a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in May.

Sentence had been deferred until Wednesday for reports.

Sheriff Alison Stirling said Harrold had a previous football conviction.

The attack happened during the Edinburgh derby match on 31 October last year.

Head down

In his evidence, Zlamal had told Sheriff Stirling how he had gone to collect the ball after it had gone behind his goal into the Hibs section of the crowd.

He said: "I was going to pick up the ball and throw it back into the game when someone hit me."

Zlamal said he did not see who had hit him, adding: "I couldn't because my head was down.

"My nose was sore, but it was not anything.

"I was looking if there was blood from my nose, but I was not bleeding."

Image copyright SNS
Image caption The goalkeeper applauded Hibs fans after recovering from the punch

The goalkeeper said he had fallen down because of the shock of being hit and added: "After I checked my nose, I felt fine and got on with the game".

When defence solicitor, Ross Jenkins, asked Zlamal why he had gone back and clapped to the Hibs fans, he replied: "It was the best way to answer the fist, because some people who are hurt punch back, but that is not my way".

Mr Jenkins put it to Zlamal he had been "tapped on the nose and theatrically fell to the ground". The keeper replied: "I never in my life was making it up. I don't like to be pretending to anything".

During the same game, Hibs manager Neil Lennon - now the boss at Celtic - was hit by a coin thrown from the Hearts supporters' section of the stand.

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