Mum whose 14-year-old autistic son was allegedly ‘assaulted’ by Cristiano Ronaldo REFUSES to meet Man United star and insists pair ‘don’t owe him a FAVOUR’ – as Merseyside Police continue their investigation into incident

  • Cristiano Ronaldo smashed a phone out of an 14-year-old autistic Everton fan’s hand while walking down the tunnel on Saturday at Goodison Park
  • Ronaldo apologised on Instagram and invited the fan, Jake Harding, to Old Trafford to watch a game 
  • Yet the boy’s Mum, Sarah Kelly, had no interest in accepting Ronaldo’s offer and added she was not impressed with Ronaldo’s apology on social media 
  • She said: ‘The way I see it is, if someone assaulted him in the street and then asked us to go around for dinner, we wouldn’t’
  • Merseyside Police are continuing to investigate the incident from the weekend 

The Mum of the 14-year-old boy who Cristiano Ronaldo allegedly ‘assaulted’ and ‘bruised’ at Goodison Park has declined the Manchester United star’s invitation to Old Trafford.

Sarah Kelly, from Wirral, took her 14-year-old son Jake Harding to Goodison Park on Saturday for his first match as Everton beat Manchester United.

Jake, who has autism, was filming the Manchester United players leaving the pitch at full-time when Ronaldo is alleged to have swiped a mobile phone out of someone’s hand, with videos circling online of the incident.

Sarah told the Liverpool Echo that the phone belonged to Jake and claimed that the Portuguese striker ‘assaulted’ him, bruising his hand, by knocking the phone to the floor.

Merseyside Police are looking into the incident and have appealed for more information. 

Sarah said on Monday that she has been contacted by Man Utd and a representative of Ronaldo but is not satisfied with the response from either. 

Regarding the response from the club, Sarah told the Echo: ‘United have handled it terribly and it’s just made things even worse to be honest.’

In reply to Ronaldo’s invitation to Old Trafford – which he described as ‘a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship’ and his apology, which she described as ‘backhanded’, Sarah said: ‘The way I see it is, if someone assaulted him in the street and then asked us to go around for dinner, we wouldn’t. 

A mum has claimed that the Portuguese superstar 'assaulted' and 'bruised' her 14-year-old son by swiping his mobile phone out of his hand at full-time in the Park End

Merseyside Police are investigating after footage emerged appearing to show Cristiano Ronaldo smash a mobile phone out of the hand of a fan after Man United’s defeat to Everton

Sarah Kelly posted this message (L) at the weekend showing pictures of her son's bruised hand

Kelly, from Wirral, took her 14-year-old son Jake Harding to Goodison Park on Saturday

Sarah Kelly posted this message (L) at the weekend showing pictures of her son’s bruised hand – Kelly took her 14-year-old son Jake Harding (right) to Goodison Park on Saturday

‘Just because he’s Cristiano Ronaldo, why would we do it? It’s like we owe him a favour, but I’m sorry, we don’t.’

Kelly added: ‘We’ve kindly declined the offer to go to United because Jake doesn’t want to go there and he doesn’t want to see Ronaldo. He’s made that pretty clear.

‘They’re not my words, they’re my son’s words. At the end of the day, this is what it’s about. 

‘It’s affected him more than it’s affected me, so I have put everything to him to make his own mind up on – he doesn’t want to go to United, he doesn’t want to go to see Ronaldo. All that I’m saying right now is that it’s in the hands of the police.’ 

Merseyside Police confirmed that they were liaising with both clubs.

In a message on Twitter, they wrote: ‘@MerseyPolice can confirm that they’re carrying out an investigating following an incident at the #EVEMAN match at Goodison involving a player as they were walking off the pitch and will be speaking to all parties involved.’

A spokesperson for Manchester United confirmed that the club will cooperate with the FA and the police’s inquiries. Ronaldo took to Instagram on Saturday night to apologise for his ‘outburst’. 

He said: ‘It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing. Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game. 

Ronaldo had taken to social media to apologise for his 'outburst' after he appeared to knock an Everton fan's phone out of their hand as he walked down the tunnel at Goodison Park

Ronaldo had taken to social media to apologise for his ‘outburst’ after he appeared to knock an Everton fan’s phone out of their hand as he walked down the tunnel at Goodison Park

‘I would like to apologize for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship.’ 

On the flip side, Ms Kelly was effusive in her praise for Everton, who have offered Jake a shirt signed by Jordan Pickford and Richarlison, match tickets and the chance to meet the players at some point in the future. 

She said: ‘Everton, it’s the People’s Club and they haven’t half come through for Jake. It’s really cheered him up this afternoon. It was lovely to see because something nice has come out of something horrible.’ 

On Monday, a Merseyside Police spokesperson said: ‘Following an incident at Goodison Park on Saturday 9th April, we are working with Everton Football Club and have been in touch with the boy’s family. The matter is under investigation and we are gathering information. Our enquiries remain ongoing at this time.

‘Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact centre quoting reference number 22000243890.’

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