An Arsenal football fan who confronted Manchester United defender Chris Smalling after running on to the pitch has today made a grovelling apology to the star.
Gary Cooper, a cousin of boxing champion Tyson Fury, told MailOnline he was 'deeply ashamed' of the pitch invasion having become 'overwhelmed with emotion' during the match at The Emirates stadium on Sunday.
The 30-year-old decorator faces a life ban from the North London club having been been charged with common assault and going on to the playing area at the Emirates Stadium.
Father-of-two Cooper told Mail Online he wanted to apologise to Smalling, Manchester United and Arsenal saying he had been 'foolish beyond words.'
'I am just so ashamed and have let myself and my family down. What happened was out of character. I am still in shock and feel awful,' he said.
His solo pitch invasion towards the end of the Premier League game came after the world of football was shocked by the assault carried out by a fan on Aston Villa's Jack Grealish who was punched to the ground.
Football yob Paul Mitchell, 27, was jailed for 14 weeks by magistrates in Birmingham with the assault leading to questions about players' safety on the pitch.
Hours after the incident in Birmingham Cooper was arrested when he ran from the stands on to the pitch after Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored from a penalty to give his team a decisive 2-0 lead.
TV cameras captured Cooper as he appeared to allegedly shove Smalling with his