Rangers fan 'scarred Celtic physio for life' after throwing bottle

Alan Crawford threw the bottle at Daniel Friel's head during the match in April last year.

Rangers fan ‘scarred Celtic physio for life’ after throwing bottle from Ibrox stand SNS Group

A Rangers fan scarred a Celtic physio for life after throwing a bottle at him during an Old Firm game.

Alan Crawford, 33, of Grangemouth, launched the missile from the west enclosure at Ibrox Stadium on April 3, 2022.

It struck Daniel Friel on the head causing a bleeding wound that required four stitches.

Celtic would go on to win the tie 1-2 with Cameron Carter-Vickers netting the winner in the second half. 

On Wednesday, Crawford pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to assaulting Mr Friel to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

The court heard Mr Friel was sittting next to the away dugout.

He stood up to make his way to the stairwell at 12.46pm.

Prosecutor Jennifer Gilmour said: “As he did so, he felt a thud to the right side of his head and saw a small bottle lying on the ground.

“He put his hand on his head and realised there was blood coming from an injury.”

Mr Friel went into the dressing room where he was treated by club doctor Ryan Connelly.

The physio had suffered a four-centimetre wound to his scalp which required four stitches.

Miss Gilmour added: “This will leave a permanent scar on his scalp.”

Police meantime were alerted to a disturbance at the Celtic dugout and noted small spots of blood on the ground.

CCTV was later reviewed which showed Mr Friel being struck by the bottle.

Crawford was also seen leaving the stairwell before going out of view.

Police stated that he was in “corporate ticket seats”.

They also had reason to believe that Crawford was affiliated to the Grangemouth Rangers Supporters Club.

Police attended his home five days after the match and identified Crawford as being responsible.

He was arrested and searched where his season ticket was uncovered.

Miss Gilmour: “It was confirmed that this was the seat he was sat in at the time of the offence.”

Harvie Diamond, defending, told the court that his bail conditions include not attending Ibrox Stadium or any football game.

The lawyer added: “He accepts it is a serious offence. He doesn’t have anything analogous on his record.

“He is married with two children.”

Sentencing was deferred pending background reports until next month by Sheriff Tony Kelly.

He said: “Custody is at the forefront of the court’s mind.”

Crawford was granted bail meantime and a football banning order is being considered. 

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