Thursday, March 12, 2009

Celtic fans in frame for attack on youth at Oasis concert

Evening Times
August 8, 2000

Stuart Wilson

THE hunt for the thugs who attacked a teenager before an Oasis concert has switched to Glasgow.

Police in Edinburgh now believe the group of around eight men and two women did not come from England, as first thought.

Officers claim witnesses who saw some of the group wearing Manchester United tops wrongly believed the group to be from south of the border.

Lothian and Borders officers say the group was made up of Celtic fans who attacked the boy because he was in a group that was waving a Union Flag they were taking to the Oasis concert at Murrayfield Stadium later that day.

Attention is focusing on one man, in particular, who had two Irish tricolour flags tattooed on his right shoulder blade and is believed to have come from Glasgow.

The 17-year-old victim, from Easterhouse, is still "serious but stable" in a special head injuries unit at the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, after being attacked on July 29.

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "We have re- interviewed witnesses to this attack and we now believe the gang came from Glasgow.

"There was a bit of confusion because some of them were wearing English club strips, but we now know they had Glasgow accents.

"One was around 5ft 4ins, had short brown hair and was of stocky build. He was wearing a grey T-shirt, which he took off to go fighting. On his right shoulder blade he had a distinctive tattoo of two Irish tricolour flags crossed over each other.

"We think this man and others were probably Celtic fans from Glasgow."

Police believe the victim was standing in a group of Oasis fans where one person was holding a Union Flag.

Added the spokesman: "We think words were exchanged between the two groups and that is when the fight broke out."

Five of the men in the gang are thought to be in their late 20s, with two in their early 20s. There were also two women in the group - one of whom had dyed peroxide hair that was black at the roots.

The fight broke out in the grounds of Donaldson's School for the Deaf in Edinburgh, where fans had gathered to party before the concert at Murrayfield.

The thugs ran through the crowd hitting anyone they came across.

The Easterhouse teenager was hit on the head while a 20-year-old woman suffered a cut to her mouth.

The teenager was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he was treated for his injury and then discharged.

But after he returned home to Glasgow, he again felt ill again and his parents took him to the Southern General Hospital. He underwent surgery for his head injury two days later.

The police spokeswoman added: "This was a vicious attack and we would appeal to anyone who recognises the descriptions of the tattooed man or who has any other information on this incident to contact us."
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