Kirkland last night relived the moment the fan came barrelling towards him on the pitch after Leeds had made it 1-1 in the match, which was shown live on Sky.
He told the People: “I am OK now, but I was really shocked at the time.
“I was gutted at losing the goal – I had kicked the ball away and was deflated. Out of the corner of my eye I saw this Leeds fan coming towards me.
“I thought he was going to give me some abuse. Then he laid right into me. It felt like I had been hit by a baseball bat. He caught me a cracker.
“Then I am on the floor and thinking, ‘Has that really just happened?’
“The game went on and at the final whistle the adrenaline drained away and the emotions came out.
“I had my wife at the game, my daughter has seen it too. But this is not about me. I hope coming out and speaking means that something will be done by the authorities before something really serious happens either to a player or to fans.
“It is a sad time for football. There are people out to cause trouble. That guy has only gone to the game for that reason. It’s not about football any more, it’s terrible.
“You want families to go to games but I’m not sure you can do that any more. There is too much going on, too much abuse.”