David Gray urges Hibs fans to name and shame bottle throwers in support
David Gray has called on Hibs fans to help stamp out missile-throwing at Easter Road by identifying the culprits to the club and police.
A glass bottle was hurled at Scott Sinclair in the corner between the ground’s East and South Stands and television pictures caught a coin whistling past the Celtic player in the same area.
The Capital club also later they’d been informed a second bottle was discovered by police in a separate incident, believed to have come from the away supporters.
Hibs immediately began an investigation to review CCTV footage and work with the appropriate authorities to identify those responsible.
But club skipper Gray believes that while those steps are being taken, supporters can play their part by pointing out individuals they see throwing anything onto the pitch.
“Definitely,” replied the defender when asked if fans should become involved in catching those responsible. “There is no place for it. As much as it is your fellow fan, it is unacceptable what they are doing so it needs to be stopped.
‘I didn’t see it at the time and have just been told about. You don’t want to see that in the game, definitely not. First and foremost, safety for the players is the most important thing and I’m sure the club will deal with it. Hopefully they can identify what’s happened.
“No-one expects that kind of thing to happen. At the same time, it is very few people and it’s not as if it’s happening all the time. I’m sure it will be dealt with.”
Pictures of referee Willie Collum handing the bottle thrown at Sinclair to a steward dominated the back pages of Sunday newspapers, images which Gray agreed could only sully the club’s name and take away from the occasion, a Scottish Cup quarter-final.
He said: “If you can stop it at source, that would be the most important thing. It is very few people who are doing it, it’s not as if it is every single week. Hopefully it can be sorted out as soon as possible because you definitely don’t want to see that in the game.
“Listen, there is no place for it in the game and players have to be safe. At the same time, I don’t think players are going into games feeling they are unsafe.
“I’m sure it will be all be dealt with and we can move to trying to put on some good displays on the pitch.
“At the time, I didn’t see what happened. I heard the reaction of the fans and now I have heard about it. It is unacceptable.
“Everyone knows it is unacceptable. Hopefully the person who did it will be dealt with and will feel very sorry for himself. That’s the most important thing.
“There is obviously a lot of security at the games and the police do a fantastic job. I’m sure they will do all they can to try and put a stop to it.”
Gray revealed he didn’t know if the bottle reportedly thrown by a Celtic fan came close to hitting anyone, but insisted for someone to do so was out of order regardless.
He said: “If anyone has thrown anything on the pitch it is unacceptable, regardless of what they have thrown. I understand that tensions get high in the heat of the moment and I thought the atmosphere was fantastic.
“Celtic fans filled the end and Easter Road is a fantastic place to play football in big games like that. The most important thing is for people to add to the atmosphere without overstepping the mark.”