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Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo 'assaulted' young Everton fan while smashing phone and Man Utd star was in a 'terrible temper', claims outraged mother

02:05 GMT+3 10/04/2022
Cristiano Ronaldo Everton vs Man Utd Premier League 2021-22
The veteran striker 'ruined the day' for young fan Jake Harding, who was filming his leg cut at the time of the incident

The mother of the Everton fan whose phone was broken by Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday has claimed the Manchester United star carried out an "assault" on the teenager.

Footage of Ronaldo knocking the device to the floor began to circulate after Everton's 1-0 victory over the Red Devils at Goodison Park.

Ronaldo later acknowledged what had happened and issued an apology to the affected supporter.

What has been said?

"At full-time the Man Utd players started walking off. We were in the Park End so we were right by the tunnel where they came walking past - my son was there videoing them all," Sarah Kelly, the mother of 14-year-old Jake Harding, told the Liverpool Echo.

"He filmed all the United players walking through. And then he lowered his phone because Ronaldo had pulled down his sock and his leg was bleeding. He lowered his phone to see what it was - he didn’t even speak.

"Ronaldo then just walked past, with a terrible, terrible temper and smashed the phone out of my son’s hand and carried on walking."

A spokesman for the Merseyside Police, meanwhile, confirmed to the Echo that the incident was being investigated: "We can confirm that we are liaising with Manchester United Football Club and Everton FC following reports of an alleged assault at the Everton v Manchester United football match today at Goodison.

"As players were leaving the pitch at 2.30pm it was reported that a boy was assaulted by one of the away team as they left the pitch.

"Inquiries are underway and officers are currently working with Everton Football Club to review CCTV footage and are carrying out extensive witness enquiries to establish if an offence has taken place."

'Ruined the day'

Ronaldo later extended an invitation to watch United at Old Trafford to the young fan on his Instagram account.

But Kelly, who shared photos with the Echo revealing a bruise on her son's hand, was shocked by the player's outburst.

"You can see by the bruise that he’s made contact. I just can’t believe I’m talking about it," she added.

"I was crying, I was shook up, Jake was in complete shock - he’s autistic and he’s got dyspraxia as well, so he didn’t really digest what was happening until he’s come home now.

"He’s really upset about it and it’s completely put him off going to the game again. This is the first football game he’s been to and this has happened.

"We had an absolutely brilliant day up until those final few seconds when they came off the pitch. It’s completely ruined the day and put a bad taste in our mouth.

"He’s an idol. Yes, he’s not from Everton and you like who you like, but Ronaldo’s a big player. My son’s always been like 'Ronaldo’s going to be there' - he’s an icon.

"I’d understand if Jake was waving it in his face but he wasn’t near his face, it was down by the floor checking his injury.

"He’s an autistic boy and he’s been assaulted by a football player, that’s how I see it as a mum."

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