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Hawthorn supporter bashed at AFL match

Mr Ploegmakers, who has an intellectual disability, admits he threw beer on the Dees supporter but says the man had insulted him.

“It’s pretty scary,” he told Channel Seven. “It’s just terrifying, like he could’ve seriously hurt me.”

HIs twin brother Damien told Seven there could have easily been a more serious outcome.

“If he had’ve fallen on the concrete and hit his head or even if that punch had’ve connected in a different spot, we could be in whole different situation right now,” he said.

Ben Ploegmakers said he no longer felt safe at the football and called for the man’s membership to be cancelled.

A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said the attacker has been identified.

“A 34-year-old Baxter man has been interviewed over an assault which occurred at the MCG yesterday afternoon following the Melbourne-Hawthorn game,” she said in a statement.

“The man is expected to be charged on summons with assault-related offences.”

The footage was first broadcast on the Sunday Footy Show on Sunday morning.

Panellist and former footballer Nathan Brown later called for the man involved to receive a life ban.

“The one-punch thing is just not getting through to some people. If that poor young guy hits his head on concrete – and there is concrete all around – he could die,” he said on Channel Nine.

“It seems to be middle-aged males, and we just don’t get it, and I think we need to.”

A spokesman for the Melbourne Football Club said the club was “appalled by this behaviour and vehemently condemns violence of any kind”.

“It is important to our club and the AFL community that all patrons feel safe. Violence has no place in the community let alone at a sporting event.

“The club is working with all relevant parties involved to gather further information, and to determine the appropriate action required. As the matter is currently being investigated by Victoria Police, the club isn’t in a position to make any further comment.”

Bradley Green, a spokesman for the Melbourne Cricket Ground, said the stadium would support any bans the AFL placed on the attacker.

“We have zero tolerance for this sort of behaviour and we are working with the police to help however we can,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Hawthorn said the club would not be commenting, as the incident was under police investigation.

Matilda reports breaking news for The Age

Liam is The Age and Sydney Morning Herald’s science reporter

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