George Watson's College coach denies Hampden Park violence
A GEORGE Watson's College coach has denied being involved in on-pitch violence at Hampden Park following Hibs' Scottish Cup final victory.
Greg Binnie, from Ratho, says he had been falsely identified as a supporter seen pushing Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham during the pitch invasion after the game.
The 19-year-old has been suspended from his job as a squash coach at George Watson’s College while the school carries out an internal investigation into images which have been shared more than 5000 times on social media.
But Mr Binnie – who admits being on the Hampden pitch but denies being involved in the alleged assault – said he has been forced to call in police after he and his mother received a string of sickening threats.
He said: “I think I had over 320 messages in about six hours. My mum’s been getting messages as well. Threats and abuse.”
“It’s good for all the Rangers fans as they just want me to be crucified.”
Mr Binnie also studies at Edinburgh College and said he now feared for his future.
He said: “I’m tearing my hair out because I’ve been pulled up by all my jobs.”
In a post on Facebook on Sunday afternoon, Mr Binnie wrote: “Woke up this morning to a load of tweets accusing me of attacking the Rangers goalie!
“Absolutely outrageous – yes, I ran on the park and, yes, I ran up to him to celebrate, but I did not touch him or even attempt to touch him. I can’t believe the barrage of abuse I am suddenly getting out of the blue.
“I have been getting a barrel-load of Facebook messages and tweets after a photo of my Facebook account was posted which says I was the one who attacked him. This is absolutely not true!”
Police confirmed they were investigating Mr Binnie’s allegations of abusive messages.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “We can confirm that a report has been received in relation to threatening comments made on social media.
“Our inquiries into this matter are ongoing as we work towards establishing the full set of circumstances.”
Mr Binnie said he told bosses at George Watson’s about the claims himself. The school confirmed that he had been suspended while it conducts an investigation.
A spokeswoman for the school said: “I can confirm that a member of staff has been suspended subject to the completion of an internal investigation into the allegations received by the school.
“As this is an ongoing investigation it would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this time.”
Meanwhile, stewards and police representatives have praised the response to the pitch invasion at the end of the Scottish Cup final.
Rangers claimed players and staff were assaulted as thousands of Hibs supporters flooded on to the pitch following the dramatic and historic 3-2 win at Hampden Park on Saturday.
Fans of the Glasgow team also made it past stewards on to the pitch, leading to a period of fighting between the two sets of supporters before mounted Police Scotland officers restored order at the national stadium.
One steward was slightly injured but security group G4S said staff did a “good job considering the situation”, while the general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation praised the “professional” response of officers.
So far, 11 arrests have been made and police are trawling through CCTV and online footage of the trouble to identify those involved. They said more arrests were expected.
The Scottish Football Association has announced it plans to set up an independent commission to investigate the circumstances.