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City fan apologises to United's Ferdinand

The Manchester City fan who attempted to confront Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand after running onto the Etihad pitch following United's injury-time winner has apologised through his solicitors.

• Bernstein condemns trouble
• FA probes Ferdinand incident
• Marcotti: Can City put it right?
• Blog: The derby in numbers

Matthew Stott, 21, was restrained by City goalkeeper Joe Hart after getting onto the pitch. The landscape gardener, of Knutsford, Cheshire, was arrested and charged with encroaching onto the playing area.

City later confirmed that his season ticket had been withheld for the rest of the season.

He apologised to Ferdinand and thanked Hart for preventing him from getting close to the Manchester United defender.

His statement, issued through solicitors Stephen Lickrish and Associates, said: "I would like to apologise to all those affected by my actions yesterday, particularly Mr Ferdinand and the other players.

"I am extremely ashamed of my actions. I have let myself down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City Football Club down."

He said he would write a personal letter to Ferdinand to say sorry, and also extended his apology to United and their supporters.

His statement added: "I would like to thank Joe Hart for his actions when I came on the pitch.

"I have been a fan of Manchester City Football Club all my life and I have been a season ticket holder for three years. I have had the same seat in the section next to the away fans for those three years."

His solicitor said he had never appeared in court before and "has never been in trouble with any of the stewards at Manchester City Football Club before, or at any other ground".

The solicitor said Stott was "mortified by his behaviour, which is completely out of character" and had made a "momentary mistake".

Greater Manchester police have charged nine people including Stott after trouble marred the end of the derby fixture, which United won 3-2.

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