Hearts slam drunk fans who shouted sectarian abuse

Police say some Hearts fans were badly behaved on Saturday. Picture: Comp

Police say some Hearts fans were badly behaved on Saturday. Picture: Comp

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Hearts have condemned a small number of fans who shouted, swore and made sectarian comments while travelling to Glasgow for Saturday’s game against Celtic.

British Transport Police (BTP) are appealing for information following two incidents involving Hearts supporters on board trains on Saturday.

In the first incident, shortly after 10.30am, a group of eight to ten Hearts supporters, who were under the influence of alcohol, boarded the Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street service at Haymarket.

During the journey they shouted and swore continually, which prompted other passengers to complain. Later in the day – around 1.15pm – a group of around 35 of the team’s supporters boarded the Bristol Temple Meads to Glasgow Central service at Haymarket and are reported to have been shouting, swearing and using religiously offensive language during the journey.

Around 1000 Hearts fans travelled to Parkhead to watch their side draw 0-0 with Celtic.

A Hearts spokesman said: “Heart of Midlothian Football Club strongly condemns any antisocial and offensive behaviour carried out by a small group of its supporters at the weekend.

“The club works tirelessly to create a family friendly atmosphere at Tynecastle and in the surrounding area and we expect all supporters to take these standards with them whenever they travel to see Hearts.

“We apologise to those individuals who were rightly upset by what seems to have been totally unacceptable behaviour and can assure them that the individuals in question do not represent the club or our values.

“This minority of fans claiming to support the club are not welcome at Hearts and we will be working very closely with British Transport Police to help identify any individual who is besmirching the good name of Heart of Midlothian Football Club and bring them to justice.”

Anti-sectarian charity Nil by Mouth has also condemned the fans’ behaviour. Campaign director Dave Scott said: “We’ve seen strong leadership from the boardroom at Hearts to tackle this type of behaviour and real fans can help support this by working with the authorities to identify the culprits.”

Officers investigating the incidents are reviewing CCTV and body-worn video footage to identify those involved.

Chief Inspector David Marshall of BTP said: “This sort of behaviour is appalling and absolutely unacceptable and why football supporters feel the need to behave in such a manner is beyond me.”