CELTIC FAN GUNNED DOWN

HeadLine: CELTIC FAN GUNNED DOWN

The Mirror, 09/08/2001, p1
by SHAUN MILNE

A CELTIC fan was gunned down in a Dutch pub yesterday.
The 41-year-old man was with his son and brother when he was blasted at
point blank range just hours before his team’s 3-1 win over Ajax in a
Champions League qualifier.
Police were last night hunting the gunman but do not believe the attack
is football related. The victim, who has not been named but is from
Glasgow, was seriously ill in hospital last night.

HeadLine: SHOT AT POINT BLANK RANGE

The Mirror, 09/08/2001, p4&5
by SHAUN MILNE, HELEN COOK & IAIN CAMPBELL

A CELTIC fan was blasted in the chest at point blank range by a lone
gunman just hours before the club’s Champions League tie against Ajax
last night.
The man – a 41-year-old from Glasgow – was drinking with his son and
brother in a packed strip bar on Amsterdam’s main drag when he was
gunned down in cold blood.
Eye-witnesses said a black man – thought to be a local – calmly walked
into Teasers Bar, which was brimming with supporters from both clubs,
and turned a handgun on the Celtic fan.
The man’s son, and several others sitting close by, were sprayed with
blood as the gunman sent a bullet ripping into the stunned fan’s chest.
Other terrified supporters immediately jumped up to challenge the
maniac but he raced outside, down a side street and escaped.
The man’s frantic son and friends then tried to stem the flow of blood
oozing through the victim’s football top while bar staff called for
police and paramedics.
Local cops immediately sealed off the scene and launched a hunt for the
gunman while medics attended the injured Scot.
He was put on a stretcher and taken by an ambulance under police escort
through the busy streets to the AMC Medical Centre.
A spokesman at the centre refused to give any details of the man’s
condition last night other than to say he was “serious” but “still
alive”.
The Foreign Office is understood to have alerted the man’s family to
the horror shooting and they were thought to be making their way to
Amsterdam last night to comfort the injured victim and his shocked son.
Speaking outside the crime scene Amsterdam Police spokesman Elly Florax
said: “At 2.30pm my colleagues were told that there had been a shooting
at Teasers pub.
“A man wearing a Celtic shirt was found to have has been shot.
“We have taken away the witnesses to the incident.
“The injured man has been taken to hospital and is undergoing surgery
but his condition is not thought to be life-threatening.
“The victim is a 41-year-old who was born in Glasgow. I have seen his
passport but I am forbidden by Dutch law from identifying him.”
The policewoman insisted that the shooting was not related to soccer
rivalry. She added: “What happened is still a bit unclear.
“We are continuing to investigate the cause of the incident but we
believe it had nothing to do with the football game.
“The person who did the shooting was a black man and was not wearing
any soccer colours.
“There has been no other trouble in the city.
“Both sets of fans have been getting on very well together and we are
sure this was not an Ajax fan – it was totally random.”
xThe area where the shooting occurred had been heaving with both sets
of fans ahead of the crunch game – which Celtic won 3-1 – and police
said it had been a “carnival atmosphere” before spirits were dampened
by the incident.
Teasers Bar is a well-known strip bar and go-go dancers mingled outside
with green and white-shirted Celtic fans as police tried to interview
supporters about the incident.
Security cameras from other bars and shops in the vicinity were also
being inspected by police as they tried to find the man responsible.
He added: “Celtic Football Club is shocked to hear of this incident and
is working with the British Consul, Strathclyde Police and the Dutch
authorities to ensure that the man and his family receive all the help
and support we can provide.
“We will be doing what we can to help our supporter and his family at
this difficult time.”
More than 8,000 of the Glasgow club’s fans had made their way to
Holland for the game and a friendly atmosphere had developed as they
mingled with Ajax supporters.
One Lanarkshire businessman, who did not wish to be named, was in the
bar with friends when the violence broke out.
He said: “The bar was heaving with Celtic fans and everyone seemed to
be in really good humour. The first sign of trouble came when I heard a
glass being broken.
“Then two guys came running past us out of the pub, followed by three
or four Celtic fans close behind.”
Stunned supporters who gathered in the city’s main square ahead of
kick-off said they simply could not believe what had gone on.
Hamish Clark from Bannockburn, near Stirling, said: “No one can believe
it – there hadn’t been any trouble between any of the fans.
“It seems to have been simply at random.”
Eddie Gallagher, from Cathcart, Glasgow, added: “We saw on the local TV
that the bar had been sealed off by police, so we knew there had been
some kind of trouble, but we were stunned when we found out someone had
been shot.
“We just hope he pulls through.”
Stephen Bolan, from Newton Mearns, Glasgow, said: “There hasn’t been
any trouble here.
“Both sets of fans are getting on really well, getting into each
other’s photos and so on.
“Ajax fans are just as surprised as us.”
However, despite the good-natured banter between the majority of the
fans, there was more trouble minutes before the game kicked-off when a
group of around 200 Celtic and Ajax supporters clashed as they entered
the ground.
Beer cans, bottles and other missiles rained through the air as the two
sets of fans fought running battles outside Amsterdam Arena.
Scores of Dutch riot police were joined by colleagues on horseback as
they launched a baton charge to disperse the rival factions.
At least one Celtic fan was led away with blood pouring from a head
wound. Police made several arrests.



Categories: Daily Mirror articles

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