Hearts winger Barrie McKay reveals referee Bobby Madden's comment on Celtic missiles as he details the full extent of objects thrown
Whilst attempting to take corner-kicks, the winger was struck by a plastic bottle and also had cups, coins and even a pie thrown in his direction from a section of home supporters at Celtic Park.
When he asked referee Bobby Madden for some help, McKay was told stewards were in place to deal with the situation. Yet objects continued to rain down on the 26-year-old at subsequent corners. McKay believes he was targeted because he is a former Rangers player.
“It wasn’t easy. Due to my history at Rangers, that’s probably why,” said McKay. “It’s hard to really stop it, you need to deal with it. It wasn’t nice being hit by a bottle for the first time in my career. I think it was full as well.
“It started with a cup and pie – which is a waste of a good cup and a pie! There were a few coins going past my head and then obviously the bottle.
“I spoke to the ref and he said that’s why the stewards were over there. But then you go to hit another one and there are still coins and stuff flying past.
“It’s dangerous. If one of those catches you it could cause some serious harm. It’s hard not to be distracted but you need to try and put it to the back of your mind.
“The first corner I managed to put it in for Stephen Kingsley and we created a few chances, but it’s difficult. I’ve had abuse before when I have gone over to take corners but I have never had anything thrown at me or hit me before.”
Police Scotland have since arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the incident and other culprits could be identified over the coming days.
A Police spokesperson said: “A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with items thrown onto the pitch during a match at Celtic Park during the evening of Thursday, 2 December. A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal and further enquiries are ongoing.”
Hearts left Glasgow harbouring plenty frustration after losing the match 1-0 via a disputed goal by the Celtic forward Kyogo. He appeared to start from an offside position before converting Anthony Ralston’s cross on 33 minutes.
“You could see it on the screen in the stadium that he was offside and then you see it again after,” said McKay. “But these decisions are made and we can’t change them now.
“The way our defenders reacted you could see they knew, and then you see it on the screen and he does look it [offside]. You can’t change it after the ref has made the decision, you need to move on.
“That’s what we did in the second half, we put it to the back of our mind and played our own game rather than worrying about decisions.”