7 Apr 2011

Cantona victim on assault charge

8:06 am on 7 April 2011

The spectator who was on the receiving end of Eric Cantona's kung-fu style assault in 1995 has gone on trial accused of brawling at a youth football match.

Matthew Simmons reputedly held a grudge against Stuart Cooper, a salesman and also manager of a boys' team which included Simmons son.

A court in South London has heard that Cooper allegedly excluded Simmons' son, from the team after learning his father was the person Cantona had kicked.

Simmons allegedly attacked Cooper in August last year leaving him with a bloody nose and covered in bruises, including a black eye.

Simmons, who's 36, had gone to support Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in January 1995 when Cantona leapt into the stands and launched a flying kick at him after being sent off, claiming the fan had racially abused him.

Cantona's infamous kick earned him a nine-month ban, a fine and a spell of community service while Simmons, a Palace season ticket holder, was banned from Selhurst Park.