A woman who was caught on camera trying to take a Newcastle football shirt from an 11-year-old boy at the King Power Stadium in Leicester was left “mortified” by the incident.
Paula Dodds, 65-years-old, was caught on camera at the Newcastle United vs Leicester City Boxing Day game trying to wrestle the shirt away from the boy, NJ.
NJ had called down to Newcastle defender Dan Burn at the end of the game asking for his shirt. Mr Burn pointed at NJ while passing his shirt to a steward who then threw it into the crowd, sparking the incident.
A friend of Ms Dodds’ said: “She’s mortified by it all. The pictures make it look awful but it all happened in seconds. As soon as she realised the boy had the shirt, she handed it over. It was a Boxing Day game and she had a bit to drink before the match, understandably.”
The friend added that Ms Dodds had since contacted the family to apologise and that her apology had been accepted.
NJ’s 39-year-old father said he didn’t want Ms Dodds to be “slated” saying “everyone gets carried away and anyone would try to grab the shirt”.
After the struggle was caught on camera the video went viral on Twitter prompting widespread criticism of Ms Dodds. The video also shows a man in a red and blue jacket getting involved, but he was reportedly helping NJ get the shirt.
The tug of war only ended when a steward got involved, helping NJ secure the jersey.
This was later confirmed by a tweet repying to the original video showing NJ with the shirt and stating: “Don’t worry he got it.”
NJ, a Newcastle United fan who has owned a season ticket for two years, said he was overjoyed to have the shirt.
He said: ‘It was the best Christmas present I received. I was very happy. I go to every game and get there twenty minutes early to talk to the players.
“Dan Burn is one of my favourite players. I’m going to keep the shirt for a long time.”
NJ now plans to frame the shirt. He already has pair of gloves worn by goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka, currently on loan to Manchester United from Newcastle.
Newcastle won the game against Leicester 3-0 with goals by Chris Wood, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton. The victory was Newcastle’s sixth consecutive win, their best run since 2012.
Newcastle has climbed to second in the Premier League table thanks to the win.