Hibby Fish pulls out of Hearts gig over fan abuse

Fish has pulled out of the benefit gig. Rob McDougall
Fish has pulled out of the benefit gig. Rob McDougall
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ABUSIVE internet trolls have been labelled “short sighted” after a social media onslaught against rocker Fish resulted in a benefit gig being cancelled.

The lifelong Hibs fan axed a concert designed to raise money for cash-strapped Hearts after angry supporters took to the internet to berate the star.

We exclusively revealed earlier this week how the former Marillion frontman had organised the acoustic performance for August 7 at Tynecastle’s Gorgie Suite to raise cash for the club.

But last night the singer – real name Derek Dick, 55 – was forced to issue a statement confirming he was cancelling the fundraiser following a backlash from cyberspace critics.

The step has been questioned in some quarters by people who believe giving in to trolls merely encourages them.

Former Hearts chairman George Foulkes described the concert’s cancellation as a 
“terrible pity”.

He said: “Fish should be getting thanks from Hibbies because if they don’t have Hearts as a club to play against every year, they’re going to be in trouble themselves.

“It’s an own goal. It’s also short sighted by those Hearts fans. I think the vast majority welcomed it.”

A Foundation of Hearts spokesman said: “It is disappointing that this gig won’t take place, but there are a huge number of other events planned and supporters of both clubs have and will continue to back Hearts during this 
difficult time.”

Fish had predicted in announcing the concert that he may receive some criticism from Hibbies for the gesture.

Yesterday he issued a joint statement with Hearts, saying: “Despite our good intentions, it swiftly became very obvious from comments from both sets of fans that we had underestimated the animosity that exists between the sets of supporters.

“There are a lot of genuine fans out there from both clubs and beyond who understood my gesture and the reasons behind my offer of support, but there was also a number of fans who had a more negative and cynical take on the event and who didn’t want it to 

“With the level of disagreement on both sides and a potential struggle with ticket sales, HMFC and I decided it was wiser to cancel the gig rather than add to the existing animosity.”