Football fan who punched Jack Grealish on the pitch was found dead by sister

Gemma Thomas
Gemma Thomas
5 Min Read

Football fan found dead after Derby attack on Jack Grealish

A man who punched Jack Grealish during a derby game has been discovered dead by his sister an inquest has revealed.

In 2019, Paul Mitchell, a father of three, served a four-week jail term and received a football banning order after he dashed onto the pitch and assaulted the England star during a Birmingham City vs Aston Villa match. As of now, the authorities have yet to confirm whether his death resulted from an accident or suicide.

Paul Mitchell attacking Jack Grealish on the pitch during a Birmingham City and Aston Villa game

Inquest in death reports toxicity from alcohol and drugs

At the time of his death in March this year, Mr Mitchell was caring for his father at his Solihull home, the Birmingham Coroner’s Court learned. Furthermore, the inquest highlighted that he started using drugs in October 2022, upon his release from a six-week prison stint for violating his ten-year football ban. The court also informed that professionals had advised him to steer clear of alcohol and diagnosed him with an adjustment disorder.

During the inquest into Mr Mitchell’s demise, Assistant coroner Simon Brenchley presented a narrative conclusion, pinpointing a mix of drug toxicity and alcohol as factors. Since November, Mr Mitchell had remained unemployed. He confessed to consuming 15 cans of cider daily, though he later reduced this to six. The coroner emphasised that Mr Mitchell vehemently denied harbouring any suicidal inclinations.

Officials removed Mr. Mitchell from the pitch after he attacked the footballer

Moreover, the court learned of Mr Mitchell’s ‘extremely close relationship’ with his father, for whom he had found ‘purpose’ in caring. Mr Brenchley noted, “He had reduced his drinking and was actively seeking accommodation.”

Sister finds Mitchel under a blanket on the sofa

Following his sister’s tragic discovery of Mr Mitchell’s lifeless body, police arrived at his father’s residence. An officer’s statement detailed, “We located the deceased in the front sitting room. He lay on his back after receiving CPR from relatives and neighbours. They initially found him on the sofa.” On 14th March, the day he passed away, one of his two sisters – who also resided with their father – had last communicated with him. However, she was uncertain of his consciousness as he lay beneath a sofa blanket. The coroner added, “She informed him about the impending visit from an internet technician before departing.”

Mitchell's mugshot after attacking Jack Grealish
It is reported that football fan Paul Mitchell had been struggling with alcohol and drugs prior to punching Grealish

Upon her return, she discerned his cold body, subsequently rallying neighbours and summoning an ambulance. On their arrival, paramedics confirmed his death at the spot, leading the police to initially classify it as suspicious. The subsequent inquest revealed that officers undertook house-to-house inquiries and discovered a bottle of his father’s medication, indicating Mr Mitchell might have unintentionally taken his life or overdosed.

Tributes for the Blues Fan

Following the tragic news, over 200 heartfelt tributes poured in for the avid Blues supporter. Debbie Drew, his grieving mother, lamented, “Our family cherished him deeply.” Expressing his condolences, Villa supporter Graham Bowcott said, “Regardless of his team allegiance, he remains someone’s son. My sympathies are with his loved ones.” Echoing this sentiment, fellow Villain Phillip Maddox remarked, “This evening, children are bereft of their father. My thoughts and prayers accompany them. May his soul find eternal rest.” Lisa Michelle reminisced, “RIP ‘Mitch’. Though our encounters were brief, you exuded humour. Your battles overcame you, and your absence will be deeply felt.”

To conclude the inquest, the coroner expressed, “I extend my heartfelt sympathies to his grieving family.”

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