Former Newcastle player Jetro Willems was punched by one of his club’s supporters during the match between SC Heerenveen and FC Groningen on Sunday, March 19.
The host club was already losing 2-0 to Heerenveen sprouting their fans’ frustration.
The bombshell fell around the 80th minute when the frantic fans aimed to invade the pitch from the stand and had to be restrained by the wardens’ present.
While the struggle was ongoing, several Groningen players including the ex-Magpies star Willems went over with the hope to calm the supporters down, pleading with them not to disrupt the match.
It was at that moment one of his fans was sighted coming towards him and punching Willems in the face before he was pulled back by the other home fans.
Fortunately, the Netherlands International Willems did not appear to be seriously hurt and eventually went back to mediate with the supporters.
However, this caused the other players to react furiously and there was a little fight between their fans and Groningen players that the referee had to suspend play and send both the teams back to the dressing room.
Referee Serdar Gozubuyuk took the players off the field as fears grew that the game could be postponed altogether.
However, the tension was calmed and the two teams ended up coming back out to complete the match with no further goals scored.
The visitors, Heerenveen eventually clinched a comfortable 2-0 victory.
It has since been confirmed that the fan who punched Willems in the face has been arrested following the ugly incident.
The local police force, Politie Groningen, announced on Twitter: “A minor-age boy has just been arrested in #Groningen on suspicion of beating a @fcgroningen player during the match in the Euroborg [stadium] this afternoon.”
“Another man was also arrested during that match, also on suspicion of assault. Both arrested suspects have been transferred to the police station and will be interrogated there.”
Jetro Willems’ Birth and Career
Jetro Danovich Sexer Willems is 28 years old, he was born on the 30th of March 1994.
The former Newcastle loanee is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a left wing-back or left-back for Groningen.
Willems represented the Netherlands national team at UEFA Euro 2012 and he played in the Netherlands’ opening match of the tournament at the age of 18 years and 71 days, making him the youngest player ever to play in the UEFA European Championship tournament at the time.
However, the record has since been broken by Jude Bellingham, who represented England at UEFA Euro 2020.
On 23rd of February 2023, Willems joined Eredivisie club Groningen on a half-season contract until the end of the season and has played four times for the club.