Hearts supporters turned on fan who sang sectarian song and shouted obscenities about the late Frank McGarvey – Steve Cardownie

A week last Friday I went to the Hearts vs St Mirren game at Tynecastle Park and, although the result went our way, an unpleasant incident in the Roseburn Stand left a bitter taste in the mouth.

On taking my seat, I immediately heard this loudmouth behind me shouting obscenities about the ex-St Mirren player, the late Frank McGarvey. Delighting in his demise, he proceeded to denigrate McGarvey with obscene chants.

He was already trying the patience of many fans within earshot when he embarked upon that delightful ditty which includes the line “we’re up to our knees in Fenian blood, surrender or you’ll die”. This was the last straw for many fans who told this clown to can it but he had other ideas as he left his seat and rounded on one of the fans telling him that he was going to get “a doin’”. Thwarted in his attempt to barge along the row past many young kids who were obviously distressed, he continued to challenge those around him.

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One father, in particular, had to comfort his daughter who was crying and sought refuge in her dad’s arms as stewards arrived on the scene, got a grip of the offender, and proceeded to eject him from the stadium. Still shouting abuse and gesticulating at the Hearts fans who were jeering him and shouting encouragement to the stewards, he was eventually escorted out with one steward returning to take statements from the supporters who witnessed this unsavoury incident (which, he said, was also captured on CCTV).

When it comes to such behaviour, age is no excuse, but this character was no impressionable youth, he was 60-odd if he was a day and you would have thought he should have known better. However bigotry can be found in all ages and in all walks of life – but it should not go unchallenged.

I was pleased to see the reaction of Hearts supporters who wanted this person ejected and voiced their support for the stewards. However, I am not about to duck the issue and pretend that all is rosy in the Tynecastle garden as bigoted shouts and chants are, unfortunately, not uncommon – but perhaps the incident I have described is an indication that decent fans have had enough.

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Sectarian chanting by a fan at the Hearts-St Mirren game left a bitter taste in Steve Cardownie's mouth (Picture: Mark Scates/SNS Group)