A MAN who headbutted a football player during a Sunday league match has been sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Nathan Giltinane, 22, was acting as linesman during a match between Gransden and Arbury at Cottenham Village College, Cottenham, when he ran on to the pitch and headbutted a 30-year-old Little Gransden man, causing serious facial injuries.

Giltinane's 18-year-old brother, who was playing for Arbury, tackled the victim, sparking an altercation between the two, before Giltinane entered the fold, making his attack and then running back to the sideline.

The 22-year-old handed himself in to police a few days after the incident which happened on February 24 and was sentenced to 20 months in prison at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (May 23) after admitting causing grievous bodily harm.

Detective constable Paul Thornton, who investigated the case alongside officials from the FA, said: "The incident that led to this assault was a typical altercation between players in a football match but Giltinane's reaction was grossly over the top.

"The victim was left with significant injuries that required hospital treatment and the whole thing happened in front of many people, including children. The sentence demonstrates that there is never any excuse for violence and it will be treated very seriously."