Rangers fan who 'scarred Celtic physio for life' with bottle jailed

Daniel Friel suffered a gash to his head when Alan Crawford threw the bottle from the stands at Ibrox during an Old Firm match.

Rangers fan who ‘scarred Celtic physio for life’ in bottle attack jailed for 12 months SNS Group

A Rangers fan who scarred a Celtic physio for life after throwing a bottle at him during an Old Firm game has been jailed for 12 months.

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 which required four stitches.

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

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

Sheriff Tony Kelly said: “This was an attack on a man in the course of his employment.

“The throwing of a bottle was not only an act of mindless violence but it had significant consequences for the person you injured and will stay with him for the rest of his life.

“The court must ensure that this grave conduct at events such as this is discouraged and the public protected.

“A custodial sentence is the only appropriate method to deal with you due to the gravity of the offence and the use of a bottle as a weapon.

“There were serious consequences to your actions and the victim.

“The court has to have regard to these circumstances at a sporting event towards a member of staff.”

Crawford was also banned from attending any regulatory football matches for five years.

He must also register with the police and surrender his passport.

The earlier hearing was told Mr Friel was sat 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.

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

Police in the meantime were alerted to a disturbance at the Celtic dug out 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.

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

Harvie Diamond, defending, forwarded to the sheriff letters from his employer, relatives and Crawford himself.

The lawyer said: “He said to me that if he could take the injury away from the physiotherapist who was hit and impose the injury on himself, he would do that.

“He feels extremely bad about having done what he did.

“In the background report he says that he loves his wife and children more than anything and it would be a disgrace for his family – he is not interested in going to football anymore.”

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