Monday, November 22, 2010

Celtic fans riot at Celtic Park

CELTIC have vowed to crack down on renegade fans as trouble flared again on Saturday. 

A mob of 40 yobs charged at Parkhead security guards and a 51-year-old steward was left nursing a bloody lip after a coin was reportedly hurled at him. 

The flashpoint in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United came a fortnight after we told how hardcore supporters' group the Green Brigade held up a sick banner protesting at the Poppy appearing on the club's shirt. 

And last night it emerged Celtic are invoking ground safety legislation in a bid to pull the rogue fans into line. 

Banner ... protest against ReidSupporters in trouble-hit Section 111 were recently warned in a letter from the club that their behaviour was a safety risk following an inspection by police and Glasgow City Council last month. 

Celtic had voiced fears over fans standing and swaying from side to side, blocking passageways. The letter asked them to "urgently" help resolve the safety issues. 

And the problems in the ground are splitting the Parkhead support. 

One yesterday wrote on fans' website Kerrydale Street: "I thought their conduct was appalling, and I did genuinely see some stewards getting pushed about and battered into." 

On Saturday's bust-up, it is understood stewards were ejecting a fan when his friends tried to intervene - running down stairs en masse to confront them. 

Cops later had to form a cordon around United fans and escort them back to their buses over fears of trouble. 

There was also a banner calling for Hoops chairman John Reid to quit. 

A police spokeswoman said there was "disorder between both sets of fans". 

Two arrests were made. 

Celtic declined to comment last night but the council praised the club for "seeking co-operation from fans". 

They added: "Safety shall continue to be monitored." 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

5 Celtic fans allege St Mirren Ball-Boy hurled sectarian abuse

Ballboy charged over sectarian comments claim at St Mirren v Celtic match

Nov 16 2010 Exclusive by Keith Mcleod

A BALLBOY was charged yesterday after allegedly making a sectarian slur at Sunday's St Mirren v Celtic SPL clash.

It is understood police visited New St Mirren Park in Paisley to speak to the 18-year-old after Celtic fans reported him over the alleged incident.

The youth, who plays for St Mirren's under-19 team, could face a Scotland-wide football stadium ban if convicted.
A police spokeswoman said: "An 18-year-old male will be reported to the procurator fiscal for an alleged breach of the peace with religious football aggravation following an incident which took place on November 14, 2010."

It is believed Celtic fans in one part of the ground made a formal complaint after the alleged incident.
Celtic won the match in injury time with a goal from Gary Hooper.

A small number of Celtic fans went on to the pitch to celebrate, but the mini-invasion was seen as nothing more than highspiritedness.

It is believed the incident happened earlier in the match.

The stadium opened only last season and one of its attractions is the closeness of the fans to the pitch.

Youth players are regularly used as ballboys by teams in Scotland.


Saints chief backs ballboy

Nov 17 2010 by Andy Newport, Paisley Daily Express

ST MIRREN bosses have leapt to the defence of one of their youth players after he was charged with being involved in shouting sectarian abuse at Celtic supporters.

Club chiefs are backing the 18-year-old following an alleged confrontation with away fans in the moments after the Buddies’ live TV clash with the Old Firm giants on Sunday.

The Paisley Daily Express understands that key to the player’s claim of innocence is that he actually is a Roman Catholic CELTIC fan!

The youngster – who plays for the Paisley club’s Under-19 side but was acting as a ballboy during the game – was charged by cops on Monday after they visited St Mirren Park to question him on the post-match incident.

They acted after receiving a complaint from Celtic fans.

But Saints general manager Brian Caldwell said the player is “100 per cent innocent”.

He has now rounded up a list of witnesses willing to back up the teenager’s denial.

Mr Caldwell said: “We are totally defending our player.

“Having carried out our own internal investigation and looked at CCTV footage of the incident, we are backing him 100 per cent.”

Mr Caldwell then blasted: “We feel the decision to charge him was wrong. This investigation is a waste of the police’s time and money. It’s a disgrace.”

It was originally claimed that five Celtic fans had witnessed the incident and were willing to back the allegation that the St Mirren youth had lobbed a sectarian slur towards them.

However, the Express understands that four of them have now dropped their claims.

The Saints starlet’s career could be left in ruins if he is convicted of the offence, with one punishment available to judges a Scotland-wide football stadium ban.

But Mr Caldwell added: “We have four or five of our own stewards who witnessed the incident and are backing our player’s story.

“It’s a real shame for the lad to have to go through this when he has not done anything wrong.

“He’s grown up supporting Celtic so why would he hurl a sectarian slur at their fans?

“His head is in a real mess right now and he is really worried. It should never have got this far.”

A police spokeswoman confirmed that a complaint had been made.

She said: “An 18-year-old male will be reported to the procurator fiscal for an alleged breach of the peace with religious football aggravation following an incident which took place on November 14, 2010.”

A spokeswoman for the crown office, however, claimed the procurator fiscal had yet to recieve the police report.

Mr Caldwell added: “Our hope is that once it goes to the PF they will throw it out."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bhoyos showed sad ignorance of the history of the poppy

Published: 12/11/2010

AS AN IRISHMAN, it saddened me to see those Glasgow Celtic supporters at last Saturday’s game against Aberdeen holding up a banner claiming that the poppy was “bloodstained”.

The same bhoyos sing proudly: “If you know your history.” Presumably, they are referring to the history of their football team. They certainly don’t seem to know much about the history of the poppy or they would know that a large amount of the blood that stained the poppies in the fields of Belgium and elsewhere was shed by Irishmen who gave their lives in the hope that their sacrifice would lead eventually to Irish freedom from British rule.

It’s not only Britain which has chosen the poppy as a reminder of the dreadful carnage of World War I. It has also been adopted by Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Sri Lanka. In America, it is used on Memorial Day in honour of those who died serving the nation during wars.

The origin of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance is generally attributed to the poem In Flanders Fields, written by Canadian military surgeon Major John McCrae in May 1915 to mark the death of a friend during the second battle of Ypres. The poem was published by Punch magazine on December 8, 1915.

Shortly afterwards, American YMCA volunteer Moina Michael and Frenchwoman Anne E. Guerin popularised the use of artificial poppies as a symbol of remembrance in Europe and North America.

But poppies had been associated with war and carnage in Flemish fields for centuries before the 1914-18 conflict. At the Battle of Landen in 1693, between the forces of Louis XIV (including the remnants of the army of James II, the exiled King of England) and William III, or King Billy, as his present-day admirers prefer to call him, Irish, Scottish and English soldiers fought and died on both sides. Some 20,000 men lost their lives. The French army achieved a narrow victory.

A year later, James Drummond, Duke of Perth, an exiled Jacobite living in Antwerp, visited the site of the battle. In a letter to his sister Anne in Scotland he wrote: “. . . over the field where the battle was fought last year, (the) ground that is cultivated has two stalks of that popie which you call cock-poses for one of grain and where it is lying untilled a scarlet sheet is not of a deeper dye nor seems more smooth than all the ground is with those flowers, as if last year’s blood had taken root and appeared this year in flowers.”

Among the dead at Landen lay Patrick Sarsfield, a major-general in the French army and the most celebrated Irish soldier of his generation.

Many thousands of Irishmen were to serve in French regiments, from Flanders to India, over the following 100 years and more. The people of Ireland were proud of their fighting men’s exploits.

In the months preceding World War I, Ireland was on the verge of achieving home rule – a form of government similar to the one Scotland enjoys currently. For the first time in centuries, the Irish would have a parliament based in Dublin, independent from Westminster in many areas. It wasn’t complete freedom, but it was all the nationalists could hope for.
Of course this arrangement didn’t appeal to the Ulster Scots and other unionists in the north of the island. They raised a citizen army of 100,000 volunteers, the Ulster Volunteer Force, of whom my grandfather was one, to fight any attempt to hand power over to their Irish enemies. Those Irish enemies mobilised their own force of 190,000 in the south to make sure that any agreement on devolution with the British was upheld.

My other grandfather was stationed with the British Army near Dublin. When his regiment was ordered to march against the UVF, 60 officers mutinied and others threatened to join them. The British government caved in and told the troops they would not be required to fight the Ulster loyalists. It looked as if civil war was inevitable, but then Archduke Franz Ferdinand got himself shot in Sarajevo and Europe was plunged into war on a much grander scale.

Naturally enough, most of the northern volunteers rushed to enlist to fight for king and country. Fortunately for me, my grandfather chose to keep on with his job at the Harland and Wolff shipyard. I think my grandmother might have had something to do with this decision.

Meanwhile, down south, the nationalist politicians were urging their 190,000 volunteers to enlist in the fight against the Kaiser in the hope that a grateful Britain would make good its promise on home rule when the Hun was defeated.

It’s estimated that up to 200,000 Irishmen of all persuasions joined up. Of those, nearly 50,000 failed to return home.
Any hopes on the part of the nationalist politicians and those poor souls who were sent to their deaths that their sacrifice might lead to their country’s freedom were dashed by the 1916 uprising, a poorly-supported act of rebellion orchestrated by a ragtag mob of guerrilla fighters and romantics who took over the Dublin GPO.

It was doomed to failure from the start, but the British authorities responded with such cold-blooded vengeance against the ringleaders, executing one man as he sat in a wheelchair, that most Irish people lost interest in the concept of home rule. They wanted to sever all ties with Britain once and for all.

This proved to make life difficult for those Irishmen who had obeyed their politicians’ demands to join the British Army. When the survivors returned home, they were treated with contempt by many of their fellow-citizens, despite having gone through hell for years in a vain attempt to earn the gratitude of their British masters.

It is those men and their fallen comrades who deserve the respect today that they didn’t get all those years ago.
I don’t suppose the thickos that held up that banner last Saturday will see it that way.

Police use CS after Hearts beat Celtic

Published Date: 12 November 2010

POLICE had to use CS gas to break up violent clashes as trouble broke out following Hearts' victory over Celtic at Tynecastle.

Clashes flared among the Celtic fans before, during and after Wednesday's game, although there were only two arrests and five supporters ejected from the ground.

The CS gas was used to disperse violent fans on Russell Road, where away fans' buses park, and McLeod Street on the approach to the Roseburn Stand, where Celtic's 3500 fans were seated during the game.

Celtic fans were also heard chanting anti-poppy songs, just days after a section of their support was slammed for unfurling a banner demanding the removal of the "bloodstained poppy" from their team's shirts.

Some Celtic fans were also said to have taunted the home support with The Starry Plough flag, a symbol of Irish republicanism famously flown during the Easter Rising against Britain in 1916.

A police spokesman said: "Inquiries are under way following disturbances that took place at the Hearts v Celtic match at Tynecastle.

"Police were required to deal with a number of incidents of disorder before, during and after the game, and on two occasions officers used CS spray to quell violence and ensure public safety. 

"There were two arrests last night, both of which took place within Tynecastle, and in addition there were five ejections from the stadium. There were numerous incidents of disorder. 

"Inquiries are under way in order to identify those responsible for the disorder, and anyone who has any information that can assist should contact Lothian and Borders Police." 

Trouble flared on the pitch as well as off it, with Celtic manager Neil Lennon facing disciplinary action from the SFA for squaring up to the fourth official and being sent to the stands, shortly after his midfielder Joe Ledley was sent off for a dangerous lunging tackle on Hearts' Ian Black.

A Celtic spokesman said the club would "fully investigate" all of the reports of violence outside the stadium and would be liaising closely with police on the matter.

He added: "We will take the strongest action against anyone who is identified."

The spokesman also addressed the problem of anti-poppy sentiments being expressed at games.

Police use CS Gas to calm rioting Celtic fans

RIOT police used CS spray to control rival fans as trouble flared at Wednesday night's clash between Hearts and Celtic.
Police said it was used in two separate incidents before and after the bad-tempered game at Tynecastle.
Mounted police had to keep opposing fans apart as skirmishes broke out around the ground in the build-up to kick-off.
The hooliganism came just days after Hibs and Hearts fans marred the Edinburgh derby by throwing bottles, coins and flares on to the pitch at Easter Road.
Last night, a police source said: "The CS spray is only used as a last resort, but the officers clearly felt the violence would escalate if the situation was not brought under control quickly.
"A skoosh of that stuff would stop an elephant in its tracks and probably helped prevent a full blown riot in both incidents."
Trouble started before the 7.30pm kick- off as supporters clashed in Russell Road, where away fans often park their buses. It is understood a cop used the spray on at least one supporter.
And a second cop was again forced to use the spray during running battles in McLeod Street as fans poured out of the ground following the match, which Hearts won 2-0. Police are also investigating reports that a Celtic fan was slashed in a bar.
And dozens of police were involved in a stand-off with up to 20 Celtic fans in the concourse of the Roseburn stand.
It's believed the confrontation started after cops kicked out a Celtic supporter from the visitors' part of the ground.
Police say they had to eject five fans in total during the game.
An inquiry will also look into reports that seats were smashed by visiting supporters, as well as vandalised catering stalls and toilets.
A police spokesman said there were two arrests at the match but more could follow.
He could not confirm the extent of any damage inside the stadium and said the force would liaise with Hearts.
The spokesman added: "Police were required to deal with a number of incidents of disorder before, during and after the game.
"Inquiries are under way in order to identify those responsible for the disorder, and anyone who has any information that can assist should contact us."
The police source said: "There can often be trouble when these two teams meet, but there was a lot of bother even for a Hearts and Celtic game.
"There were times when things looked like they could easily get out of hand before and after kick-off and there were a number of incidents inside the ground as well."

Celtic fans riot at Tynecastle

Scottish sun

 COPS used CS gas spray on Celtic yobs after they were pelted with pies and Mars bars.
The missiles were stolen from a food kiosk as trouble erupted at Wednesday's match against Hearts.

Last night police confirmed officers TWICE used riot-control spray to quell violence before, during and after the match. A source said: "The trouble seemed to be sparked by a rumour that a Celtic supporter had been slashed.

"The tear gas was first used before the game - some people were out of control.Then a fan was grabbed by cops after he set off a firework in the stadium.

"Some louts besieged a food stall and grabbed pies and Mars bars to throw at the police. CS spray was used again on fans outside the ground after the game."

Lothian and Borders Police said they made two arrests at Tynecastle as Hearts won 2-0. A spokesman added: "CS spray was used twice to ensure public safety."

A Celtic spokesman said: "We'll deal in the strongest terms with those identified."

Celtic fans IRA banner display raises question Celtic are still to answer

Banner raises questions Celtic are still to answer

Over the past while, Celtic have proven that they're no slouches when it comes to protesting against perceived wrongs in football matches or covering up damaging comments from one of their players in a press conference. A dodgy decision on the field of play and a letter is whizzed off to Hampden before the game is up, some idiotic remarks from Gary Hooper about referees being out to get his team and the Celtic machine goes from 0-60 in about five seconds, 'requesting' that the television companies strike Hooper's damaging remarks from the record while reminding them, in allegedly threatening tones, that should they opt to broadcast then a dim view would be taken of it.

They're quick off the mark when it comes to pressurising referees and journalists, but not so speedy when it comes to taking action against the lunatic fringe in their own stadium. As Neil Lennon might say, all we're doing here today is seeking 'clarification' on what happened with this tragic lot, the Green Brigade, on Saturday. All we're looking for is an explanation.

There is an investigation under way and an earnest vow to ban all those who were guilty of bringing disgrace to the good name of the club. This will need to be a pretty thorough examination of what went on for images of that banner have gone around the world now. There are football lovers all over the globe wondering what kind of Neanderthals would do such a thing. The tragedy is that they were small in number though profound in terms of the embarrassment they have caused.

Early this year there was a thoroughly depressing example of this tit-for-tat that goes on between the unreconstructed minorities at the clubs. In March, Rangers played Celtic at Ibrox. The Falklands war hero, Simon Weston, was there as guest of honour at the Rangers Charity Foundation. At half-time the plan was to take Weston on to the touchline and present him with a Rangers shirt with a poppy on it. On their messageboards the Celtic fans saw a fiendish plot afoot. This was an "outrageously provocative gesture", they said. "It's a deliberate attempt to get us to boo Weston and thereby embarrass ourselves. Shame on Rangers." To which, the reply came, "Shame on Celtic for not being able to respect a war hero."

God help us, but this is what it's come to. Last Saturday was just the latest manifestation of a sickness. And it needs addressing. So in the interests of that new Celtic buzz word 'clarification', here are a number of questions that the SPL should be asking of Celtic and the dysfunctional element in their stadium.

1) How can they move with such breakneck speed when they want a dodgy decision by a referee explained to them and yet react with such lethargy when it comes to an objectionable banner?

2) Why did they not get the banner taken down as soon as it was raised on Saturday?

3) Why did they not say anything about it on Saturday evening?

4) Or all day Sunday?

5) When they did issue a statement condemning the banner and saying that those responsible would be banned from Celtic Park for life, was it just a PR job to try and head-off an escalating scandal or a genuine attempt to root out the morons in their midst?

6) If it was genuine and heartfelt, how come the statement did not come directly from Peter Lawwell or John Reid, but from an anonymous spokesman?

7) How come we still haven't heard directly from Lawwell or Reid? Don't they think they ought to say something?

8) Why has nobody at the club condemned the IRA chanting that came from the Green Brigade's area of the ground last Saturday?

9) And also the singing of Sean South From Garryowen. Do the idiots who were saluting him know anything about Sean South? Do they know he wasn't from Garryowen? Do they know that many historians in Ireland long ago debunked the myth of South being an Irish nationalist hero? Do they know that he was an anti-semite?

10) Do they stand by the sentiments in the banner? If so, why not come out in the open instead of releasing an anonymous statement? Are they cowards? Actually, don't answer that one. We already knew precisely what they are.

11) What form is the Celtic 'investigation' going to take? Who is in charge of it? What have they discovered?

12) Can you really be bothered looking into this or is it all just lip service?

Lennon said yesterday that he wanted to draw a line under this business of the banner while at the same time allowing himself to be drawn into yet another exchange about the Dougie McDonald saga. Today, it should be pointed out, marks the 25th day of that controversy.

If Celtic put half as much energy into rooting out the idiots who embarrassed the club on Saturday as they have done in the McDonald saga then this investigation shouldn't take very long. We await the official report from Parkhead. And hopefully somebody will put their name to it this time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Celtic Fans shame memory of Celtic's war hero

THE family of a former Celtic star who became a WWI hero yesterday slammed the Hoops fans who staged a sick anti-poppy protest. 
And they said William Angus - the only Scots professional footballer to win the Victoria Cross - would be "spinning in his grave" at the supporters' behaviour. 

Angus, who died in 1959 aged 71, played for Celtic for two seasons before serving as a Lance-Corporal in WWI. 

He won the military's top gong after losing an eye and a foot saving an injured pal under heavy German fire. 

Last night, his nephew George McNulty, 86, hit out at fans who unveiled banners reading 'No Bloodstained Poppy on Our Hoops' at Parkhead, as Celtic beat Aberdeen 9-0 on Saturday. 

George, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, said: "My uncle would be spinning in his grave to think people calling themselves Celtic fans could behave like this. 

"He was proud to play for Celtic - and proud to serve his country."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Celt Thick - "Celtic Supporters peddle a uniquely Irish Fascism"

"There were hardcore Glasgow Celtic Supporters. Deeply prejudiced and sectarian, they're as close as we have to football hooligans and (ironically) the British National Party."

Celtic IRA/Nazi Supporters slammed

At half-time on Saturday, during Celtic’s triumphant 9-0 thumping of Aberdeen, the self-styled Green Brigade among their supporters produced anti-Remembrance Day banners reading: "Your deeds would shame all the devils in Hell. Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan. No bloodstained poppy on our Hoops." Celtic has long had its rotten apple of hardcore IRA supporters, but only an historical illiterate would be unaware of the tens of thousands of Catholic soldiers who died in World War I. Millions of our people, of all creeds, died to defeat the Nazi war machine and protect our freedoms in WWII. Does their sacrifice really deserve to be denigrated so crudely? In fairness, Celtic has apologised, but that’s not enough. This shameful disrespect for our war heroes has been seen before in Parkhead and will be seen again. It’s not an aberration either. Reactionary IRA nut-jobs have long had an association with those who opposed the fight against continental fascism. The IRA’s courting of Nazi Germany is well-documented. In 2003, Sinn Fein held a rally in Dublin at the statue to honour IRA man Sean Russell, a collaborator who died on board a U-boat as he travelled to Ireland to foment a pro-Nazi rising in 1940. Russell’s mission was to foster a coup in the Irish Republic and to attack ship-yards and British military installations in Northern Ireland. The only thing that stopped him was his death from a perforated ulcer 100 miles off the coast of County Galway. That same year, a German agent called Goertz was captured after he’d parachuted into Ballivor, Co Meath, to discuss an IRA proposal for an attack on Northern Ireland by the Germans to be supported by 5,000 IRA recruits. In Belfast during WWII, IRA volunteers were ordered to help the Luftwaffe to bomb their own city at the cost of nearly 2,000 dead and thousands more made homeless. And just a few years ago, a US Nazi hate group, the National Alliance, called on Irish Americans to support the Real IRA (who bombed Omagh) and its political wing the 32 County Sovereignty Movement. Nice company you’re keeping, Mr. Lennon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Association of Irish Celtic Supporters’ Clubs support fascist protest by bigoted fans

Statement Association of Irish Celtic Supporters’ Clubs (AICSC)

"A recent display of banners at Celtic Park spoke for many of us and not, as

some would have it, a minority. We believe this was an overdue and welcome

message to the club and reflects a large degree of concern at the failure

to listen to the views of supporters."

Celtic Supporters Association support fascist protest by bigoted fans

The Celtic Supporters Association after having a number of discussions with the club and our member branches wish to make it clear once again that we believe the Celtic shirt should be used only to promote Celtic Football Club and it’s sponsors.

We believe that this form of bullying people and clubs into wearing the poppy symbol is contrary to what many people believe is a democratic right; to have freedom of choice; freedom of expression, and freedom of speech.

The Celtic Supporters Association is a democratic organisation which act’s in the best interests of their members, we consult with them on all issues and then carry out their wishes to the best of our ability.

We believe that it is not in the best interest of Celtic Football or their fans to have a policy which is clearly divisive, this poppy issue came up two years ago as a direct result of the backlash for the singing of the racist “Famine Song” we have opposed it every year and are glad to hear that this will be the final year of the policy.

At this Sunday’s match versus St Mirren there will be a minutes silence held before the kick off, we would ask once again that if anyone doesn’t want to take part in the silence for whatever reason, then remain outside in silent protest, then make your way into the stadium.

Celtic vow to ban Pro-IRA/anti poppy hate yobs

CELTIC last night vowed to ban yobs who held a shameful anti-poppy demo at Parkhead.
Club chiefs admitted they were "embarrassed" by the morons who insulted the memory of Britain's war dead at their stadium.

And they promised to hunt down those responsible for the sickening half-time display during the Glasgow giants' 9-0 win over Aberdeen on Saturday.

The louts unfurled banners which included the words: "No bloodstained poppy on our Hoops."
Club chairman Dr John Reid, a former Defence Secretary, was said to be furious.

Last night probes were under way by Celtic and the SPL into Saturday's shameful scenes.

A club statement said: "Celtic FC can confirm an investigation is ongoing in connection with the banner unfurled at Saturday's game.
"Those identified as being responsible will be banned from Celtic Park.

"Celtic fans have rightly earned a magnificent reputation for their positive behaviour and backing of the club.
"It is extremely disappointing that the actions of a small minority have embarrassed Celtic and tarnished the club in this way."


A series of seven banners reading "Your Deeds Would Shame All The Devils in Hell. Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan. No Bloodstained Poppy on Our Hoops," were unfurled at half-time.

Club chairman Dr John Reid, a former Defence Secretary, was said to have been deeply offended.
SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster said the display was "regrettable".

He added: "We would welcome the fact that Celtic have moved quickly to apologise for any offence that has been caused."
It is thought that extremist members of The Green Brigade fans' group were behind the stunt.

They have already vowed to boycott Celtic's match against St Mirren at the weekend when players from all SPL sides will wear poppies on their shirts St Mirren will have a minute's silence before the game on Remembrance Sunday.

A similar tribute was marred by a small group of Celtic fans at Falkirk last season.

St Mirren general manager Brian Caldwell said: "Surely we wouldn't be doing the right thing by having a minute's applause and therefore cause more criticism?

"We have been having a minute's silence here for years."

Last night the dad of a hero Celtic fan who was killed serving in Aghanistan hit out at the louts who staged the protest.
Billy Monkhouse's son Stephen, 28, right, was killed while with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards in Helmand. Billy, 51, showed dignified restraint when he said he was "disappointed".

He went on: "Having lost my son in Afghanistan in the British Army, we would like to think that the families of everybody would be supporting the British Army.

"We are not wet enough behind the ears to think that everybody is going to support the British Army but I'm a bit disappointed to find out that it was Celtic supporters, of which Stephen was one.

"When he was home Stephen would be at Celtic Park - if he could have got a ticket that is.

"I think we as a family are disappointed that they have chosen that aspect and that route to go down."

Celtic's own stadium rules prohibit political demonstrations.

The club's travel partner Thomas Cook have been in touch with the club because their name was visible above the banners.

Charity PoppyScotland has also described the banner as "disrespectful" but chief executive Ian McGregor added: "I don't believe for a moment it reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of Celtic supporters."

The charity called on Scots to "donate as much as possible so that Poppyscotland can continue to deliver life-changing services for Scotland's ex-services community."

Scottish Labour's sports spokesman Bill Butler said: "I praise the swift way the club have responded.

"This doesn't reflect the views of the vast majority of football fans.

"The sacrifice of men and women who have died serving our country unites everybody and deserves to be remembered."

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