I had not long arrived home from an enjoyable Saturday with friends when I heard the horrible news that a Rangers fan died this afternoon when the supporters bus he was on overturned on the road to the game against Partick Thistle at Ibrox.
To hear this kind of news makes me sad beyond measure and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this terrible time. I hope they will be comforted to know that the whole football community is devastated by the tragic news and fans of all clubs will be standing with them in their time of grief.
Speaking as a Celtic supporter whose best friend and flatmate is a Rangers fan I know better than most that there is a time and place for rivalry and a time to put it aside and focus on what really matters. It is fair to say that we have had some interesting times during our 16 year friendship and there have been times when we haven’t spoken for a few days because of the result of a game or a controversial incident or two in the events surrounding a game. This has usually been my fault, or at least so I’ve been told as the controversial incident has usually though not exclusively been a result of me not returning from either Celtic Park or the Hoops Bar at the time I said I would. That aside however we get on well and look out for each other in the way that sisters do.
Coming from a small community I can only imagine how the family and friends of the deceased man will be feeling right now as they not only grieve over the loss of one friend but fear he may not be the last causality as three more of their friends are still critically ill in hospital. Naturally I hope this is not the case and those who are currently fighting for their lives win their most important battle and return safely home to their families.
I conclude this article by saying what many people have said it so many times before which is that no-one should ever go to a game of football and never return. My hope is that this tragedy will unite Scotland’s football community and take us to a place beyond rivalries. It is I think important to remember that our opponents are only our 90 minute enemies, and after the final whistle they go back to being people many of whom may live in the same streets as us with the same hopes and dreams for their families as we have for ours. After all, we are all human beings, and we share one common bond .We are the people of the football community and tonight regardless of what team we support we grieve for one of our own.
Love And Best Wishes