Fi­nal hor­ror

Young­ster was in tears as pitch in­va­sion turned ugly

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Mur­ray Spooner

A Cam­bus­lang dad has spo­ken of his dis­gust af­ter his nine-yearold daugh­ter was caught up in the trou­ble at the re­cent Scot­tish Cup Fi­nal.

Re­becca Taylor was the of­fi­cial mas­cot to ref­eree, Steven MacLean, and was left shaken af­ter fans clashed on the pitch.

A Cam­bus­lang dad told of his daugh­ter’s ter­ror as she wit­nessed Hiber­nian fans in­vad­ing the pitch fol­low­ing their team’s vic­tory in the Scot­tish Cup fi­nal.

Rangers fan Re­becca Taylor ( 9), had been cho­sen as the per­sonal mas­cot for ref­eree Steven MacLean for the match on Satur­day, May 21 af­ter she won a com­pe­ti­tion with Spec­savers.

But the Hall­side Pri­mary pupil’s day to re­mem­ber turned into a night­mare af­ter wit­ness­ing fans of both teams fight each other while Rangers play­ers were con­fronted and at­tacked on the pitch.

Ugly scenes of vi­o­lence flared as Hibs fans ran onto the Ham­p­den turf af­ter cap­tain David Gray’s in­jury time win­ner for the Ed­in­burgh side.

Re­becca’s dad, Ste­wart, 40, from Cam­bus­lang, was dis­gusted by the scenes.

He said: “To stand there and wit­ness that with my daugh­ter was shock­ing.

“It was shame­ful. It’s now a day she’ll never for­get for all the wrong rea­sons.

“Re­becca was shak­ing and ter­ri­fied and in tears at the end of it.

“She was pet­ri­fied and cry­ing and telling my wife she wanted to get out.

“It was ugly, and not some­thing you want to see when you are at­tract­ing fam­i­lies.”

Thou­sands poured from Ham­p­den’s north, south and east stands within sec­onds of the fi­nal whis­tle af­ter Hibs’ dra­matic 3-2 win.

A sec­tion of Rangers sup­port­ers also broke onto the pitch.

Re­becca wit­nessed turf be­ing ripped up and the goal­posts brought down.

Ste­wart added: “She was buzzing for the whole day af­ter meet­ing the play­ers and Mark War­bur­ton but it has been com­pletely ru­ined.

“We were sit­ting in the south stand.

“The Hibs fans were al­most over the hoard­ing and into the fans’ area where I was with my daugh­ter. I am dis­gusted.”

Hiber­nian won the Scot­tish Cup for the first time in 114 years but fan trou­ble is ex­pected to war­rant a large fine and pos­si­ble fur­ther ac­tion on the Easter Road side.

Scot­tish FA chief ex­ec­u­tive Ste­wart Re­gan con­demned the be­hav­iour of sup­port­ers which marred the match.

He said: “Scot­tish FA is ap­palled by the scenes of dis­or­der on the field im­me­di­ately af­ter full- time and at the con­temptible be­hav­iour that en­sued.

“What should have been an his­toric, mem­o­rable Scot­tish Cup fi­nal will now, sadly, be re­mem­bered for all the wrong rea­sons.

“Po­lice Scot­land and the sta­dium man­age­ment ini­ti­ated a Cri­sis Li­ai­son Group as soon as the dis­or­der be­gan and we thank them for con­tain­ing the sit­u­a­tion as quickly as pos­si­ble.

“The Scot­tish FA, along with Po­lice Scot­land and the sta­dium man­age­ment have ini­ti­ated a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the scenes that un­folded to un­der­stand how such a vol­ume of sup­port­ers were able to en­ter the field.”

A spokes­woman from Spec­savers said: “Spec­savers has a long­stand­ing part­ner­ship with the Scot­tish FA through the spon­sor­ship of its match of f i c i a l s, and ma sc o t com­pe­ti­tions have al­ways proven ex­tremely pop­u­lar.

“The SFA has con­firmed it plans to con­tact the fam­ily of the mas­cot and has an­nounced an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion is set to take place.”

Hap­pier time Re­becca Taylor was a mas­cot for ref­eree Steven MacLean

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