THREE Rangers supporters have been fined and giving football banning orders for shouting sectarian abuse during the Ibrox side’s first match since reforming following liquidation.
• Three defendants fined £300 each and given six month banning orders
• Police used video recorders to capture evidence of sectarian singing
Andrew Callaghan and Billy Brawley shouted “fenian b******s” while singing “Follow Follow
”, while Gordon McKillop was heard shouting “f*** the Pope and the Vatican” at the match at Brechin City’s Glebe Park in July this year.
A fourth fan, Derek McCreadie, did not appear in court today to answer the charges.
And a fifth supporter, Gordon Maclean denied a charge of possessing a lit smoke canister “with utter disregard for the consequences”, and will stand trial next month.
Fiscal depute Hannah Kennedy told Forfar Sheriff Court that around 4100 fans were in attendance at the game, and that police officers were filming sections of the away support for surveillance purposes.
She said that Callaghan and Brawley were spotted chanting “Follow Follow” by officers.
She said: “The accused were seen singing offensive remarks.
“Police spoke to the accused and told them that if the video showed them singing, they would be charged with an offence.”
Brawley, 28, of Wheatland Avenue, Glasgow, Callaghan, 28, of Kirkton Avenue, Blantyre, and McKillop, 28, of Main Street, Largs pleaded guilty to the charges under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act.
McCreadie, 22, of Seaview, Wigton, denied an identical charge through his solicitor, and McLean, 31, of Thornliebank Road, Glasgow, denied a charge of culpable and reckless conduct.
Andrew Docherty, appearing for Callaghan and Brawley - who both work as drivers, said they were “ashamed of the offences”.
He said: “Mr Callaghan and Mr Brawley actually attended the match together.
“Both were in high spirits as it was the first game of the new season and drink was taken.
“They are ashamed of the behaviour.
“Mr Brawley comes from a mixed family - some of his uncles are Roman Catholics - and he has no religious bigotry in him at all.”
Sheriff Kevin Veal find Brawley, Callaghan and McKillop £300 each, and gave them each a six month football banning order.
McCreadie was ordered to attend a pre-trial hearing next month, while Maclean will stand trial next month over the alleged smoke canister incident.
Rangers won the Ramsdens Cup match at Brechin 2-1 - but required extra time to see off the Angus side.
Andy Little fired them in front inside four minutes, but former St Johnstone striker Andy Jackson levelled the game just before half time.
Lee McCulloch sealed the win with a header in the first half of extra time.
At an earlier hearing another Rangers fan, David Boyd, was fined £500 after he was heard shouting “f*** the Pope” and “f***an bastards” at the match.
However, Boyd, 25, of Charlotte Gardens, Aberdeen, avoided a football banning order.