Young Dundee fan struck by flare enjoys 'great day' training with squad

Levi Rennie enjoyed a day with the Dundee squad following Saturday's incident.

A young Dundee fan who was left injured after being struck by a flare during a match against St Johnstone at the weekend has met his heroes.

Levi Rennie was hit on the head by the pyrotechnic device during his side’s 2-1 win at McDiarmid Park on Saturday.

The ten-year-old, who was playing a drum in the away end when the incident took place, was invited to meet and spend the day with the players on Wednesday.

The schoolboy was given VIP treatment, hitting penalties into the goalkeeper and playing darts with the squad.

Levi described the day as “one of the greatest things he’s ever done” and said it helped cheer him and his mum up after a few rough days.

Levi Rennie met Dundee squad on Wednesday.STV News

He was beside Tony Docherty for his weekly press conference and the Dundee manager urged fans to leave the devices, which are banned from stadiums in Scotland, away from the game.

He said: “A message not necessarily to Dundee fans but football fans in general is that I don’t think there is a place for it. What a brilliant kid we have got with us today in the building.

“But the message for me is that they (flares) don’t belong in stadiums.”

Levi then also spoke to the media to describe his day.

He said: “My favourite player is Luke McGowan because he is just good at football, he’s never got his head down and he’s always supportive. I also like Owen Beck.

“My message to Dundee fans would be to keep supporting the team, come home and away and that’s basically it.

“We came in about 11am to watch the players train, I got to take a few penalties against Adam Legzdins, I done the crossbar challenge, met all the players and got to ask them a few questions, I spoke to the gaffer himself then we got lunch with the squad.

“After that I went to the changing rooms, had a game of darts with Josh Mulligan and I beat him, then I spoke to Joe Shaughnessy, then I was in the press room to watch Luke McGowan and Tony Docherty do their speeches.

“I’ve been supporting the club for quite a few years now, so this is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done and it was kind of like a VIP experience.

“It’s been absolutely great, Dundee have treated me very well and I really appreciate it.”

His mum Sherree Rennie admitted she didn’t know the dangers of flares inside stadiums until the “horrible experience” they both endured on Saturday.

She said: “We were at the St Johnstone game at the weekend, and Levi had just started playing the drum at the game.

“It was just at the very start of the game and I was sitting a bit along from him as I try to give him a bit of space at the games and I just noticed that he put his head down and it didn’t look right so I jumped up and ran round to get him and by the time I got there some of the young lads that sit around him had pulled him out the way but he was screaming hysterically and I just thought “oh no what’s wrong”.

“When I got a hold of him he was just screaming that he was burning, one side of his face was completely black so I couldn’t tell how bad it was. So we got him and got him to a paramedic, she was excellent as well.

“She cleaned him up a bit and there was a lot of ash around his eye, so we didn’t know if the eye was affected, and once we got it cleaned up we realised he had been hit on the head by a flare just above his left eye.

“It was a really horrible experience to be honest, before this happened, we will hold our hands up, we thought it looked quite impressive when you see it on the TV and see it at some of the bigger games when they light up the stadium, it does look amazing and I’d never heard of anyone being hurt before so it never really crossed my mind that it could happen until it happened to my own son.

“I realise now just how dangerous they are and they are obviously banned for a reason, and hopefully this raised a wee bit of awareness around just how dangerous they are, because I would hate anyone else to go through the last few days that we have.”

Police Scotland has confirmed that a 15-year-old boy has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.

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