A CRYSTAL PALACE fan who was karate kicked by Eric Cantona has denied carrying out an assault at a children's football match.

Matthew Simmons, aged 36, from Thornton Heath, appeared at Kingston Crown Court on Friday and denied a charge of assault.

The bricklayer is alleged to have become involved in a fight while watching his 13-year-old son playing football in August last year.

Mr Simmons was kicked by Cantona in January 1995 after he was sent off during a match between Manchester United and The Eagles at Selhurst Park.

The French striker leapt over an advertising board to kick the football fan in the chest, and then punched him.

Cantona, who is now an actor and manager of the French beach football team, was suspended for nine months and ordered to serve 120 hours of community service.