Football Fan Jailed For Running On Pitch And Punching Jack Grealish Found Dead At 32

A football fan who was jailed for running onto a pitch and punching Jack Grealish has been found dead at the age of 32.

Tributes have been pouring in for Paul Mitchell, with his mother, Debbie Drew, heartbroken at the family’s loss. Mitchell was reportedly found dead at an address in Birmingham.

Mitchell served four weeks of his sentence after pleading guilty to assault and to invading the pitch after admitting he had done it “as a joke”. He was also handed a 10-year ban from attending football matches as part of his punishment.

“Our family loved him so much,” his mum Debbie Drew said. A number of fellow football fans have shared tributes to Mitchell on social media. Messages came from Birmingham City fans as well as supporters of other clubs.

“Paul absolutely adored his three children,” the late football fan’s cousin Lucy Mitchell told The Sun. “He always had a smile on his face no matter what. He had the kindest heart. He is sadly going to be missed by a lot of people.

Other fans called him a “legend” and shared messages of support. “Absolutely gutted mate.. we had some mad childhood memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.. rest easy one of my best old friends mate…till we meet again KRO,” friend Ash Herbert wrote on Facebook.

“Rip Paul Mitchell, football is everything, sad to see a fellow football fan taken so soon,” one wrote. Another said: “I’ve been busy all day and on and off twitter so I’ve only just heard about Paul Mitchell a Brummie boy and legend I tell you it’s such a s*** time for blues but he was a good lad RIP Paul.”

Mitchell was jailed again in 2022 for ignoring his football ban, as reported at the time by the Birmingham Mail. He was involved in an exuberant celebration during Birmingham City’s match against West Brom in the Championship.

His lawyer made reference to the fact that Mitchell had been accompanying a disabled friend to Birmingham’s St Andrew’s Stadium. It came after he had complied with the banning order for three years.

“Never nice to hear of anyone passing,” one Aston Villa fan wrote in response to the news. “He was someone’s Son, Father, Brother, Friend ,Work Colleague be nice fellow Villa fans no need for vile comments.”

Other fans who knew Mitchell shared photos of them together. “FFS another lad gone. RIP Paul Mitchell just 32 years old,” one fan wrote. “Some things are bigger than football. RIP lad,” said another.

“Many things outweigh football. Nothing outweighs life” another message of condolence read. “Whilst he probably wasn’t everyone’s cuppa, I hope he’s left to rest in peace and offer my sincere condolences to his family.”

Another fan made reference to the death of another Birmingham fan, Gary Williams, while paying tribute. “We all get caught up in emotions and do things we regret,” they wrote. “He made the mistake of being too passionate and paid for it. Now let the rest of his life , minus that mad five minutes , be celebrated. RIP son… wing your way to the roof of the main stand and sit beside Gaz Williams another true blue lost this week.”