This Is Villa Park

This Is Villa Park

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Something a Little Different; Religion In Football

That says it all really.
Source: The Guardian
Years ago, religion in football was that of which was hard to ignore. Thanks to campaigns set up to stop this, the issue has subsided, yet is still a very pressing part of the game. Most notably in Scotland, were the Old Firm games have been clouded by what lies around the next alley way.
74% of Celtic supporters identify themselves as Catholic, whereas only 4% identify as Protestant; for Rangers fans, the figures are 5% and 65% respectively. Yet, the public seem divided on the relationship between football and sectarianism.

The murder in 1995 of Celtic fan Mark Scott caused outrage.

Mark Scott was the victim of an unprovoked attack as he walked through Bridgeton Cross whilst returning from the victory over Partick Thistle on the 7th October. His throat ripped open in a street attack as he died at the crime scene despite frantic attempts to save him. A seven inch wound from his chin to his ear severed Mark's jugular vein, leaving a twenty-six yard trail of blood.

Walking along the London Road to the train station to get home, Mark and two friends were spat at when passing a pub along that road. None of them reacted and carried on with their conversation as they headed for the city centre. Hearing footsteps approaching behind, one friend told the court of how he turned to see a person standing behind Mark, with his hand beside Mark's neck.

As Mark held his neck, with blood pouring out, he staggered forward diagonally across the pavement before falling beside a gutter. His friend recalled how women and a volunteer paramedic who had been to the game clambered around his friend, in agony to aid him.

Admitting that walking through that part of Glasgow might have brought them into contact with Rangers fans he made it very clear that anything to suggest that they where Celtic fans were not visible and that they were not attracting any attention to themselves.

The court later revealed how a young father used his baby's blanket to stanch the gaping wound in the dying Celtic fan's throat. "I gave them my baby's blanket off the pram and someone stuck it to the boy's neck." Garry Horne said, adding: "Three months earlier I had seen my son taking his first breath coming into the world and three months later I saw this young boy take his last breath lying in a street in Glasgow."

The Scotsman, (15/03/1996)
A MAN was jailed for life yesterday after being found guilty of the murder of a schoolboy Celtic fan. Jason Campbell, 23, whose father and uncle were Protestant terrorist paramilitaries, stabbed 16-year-old Mark Scott outside a pub at Glasgow's Bridgeton Cross on 7 October last year.
Iain Bonomy, QC, prosecuting, revealed to the jury that Campbell had a previous conviction for carrying a knife. The defence QC, Donald Findlay, suggested that Campbell, of Heron Street, Bridgeton, had originally intended just to slash his victim.
Campbell denied murder and lodged a special defence of alibi, claiming he was at home with his relatives at the time of the killing.
During the trial the court heard how minutes before he died, Mark, a Glasgow Academy pupil and the son of a corporate lawyer, had been watching Celtic's 2-1 win over Partick Thistle with two friends at nearby Celtic Park. As the three youngsters - one the son of James Friel, the procurator-fiscal at Paisley -walked along London Road towards Bridgeton Cross they had to pass through a gauntlet of hate from Rangers fans outside the pub.
The attack, in broad daylight, was witnessed by other fans, women out shopping with their children and people in cars and buses.
After the killing, Campbell sprinted to his home just a few hundred yards away where the family was having a party for his nephew's 12th birthday. He quickly showered and changed, then left, travelling later that night to stay with friends in Greenock.

During the first hours after the incident police received at least 50 telephone calls naming Campbell as the killer. The next day Campbell gave himself up to police with his lawyer Massimo Franchi. He was picked out by various witnesses as the young man in a pink shirt and denims they saw running from the scene. One witness identified Campbell as the killer at a parade and in the dock. Another couple saw him with a knife before the murder.
Even after been given life, he served fifteen years in prison and the thug is now back on our streets.


The Old Firm game last night was a time to test the 'fitness' of the SNP's 'Sectarian Bill.'

Mark Brown, an editor of Tory Hoose and 2012 council candidate, wrote; I spent Monday night at another fiercely fought derby – the Edinburgh v Glasgow rugby clash at Murrayfield. With hardly a police officer in sight, no crowd segregation, bars open inside the ground selling alcoholic and soft drinks before and during the game & standing allowed around the perimeter of the pitch – why is the experience so different? [from the Celtic v Rangers matches.] Despite the Capital City v Culture City banter being well publicised in books and media, there was no foul language from the stands or aggression from fans enjoying a beer or two. After the game, all supporters moved freely out the stadium and walked into town together discussing the finer points of the 23-23 draw. They will no doubt meet up again this Sunday in Glasgow for the second-leg and continue the rivalry in a sporting and good mannered way.  The passion on the terraces is no different than at football – both sets of supporters wanting that win, to have the bragging rights over their nearest neighbours.  Just no violence, domestic abuse or alcohol fuelled offensive chanting.

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