Physio accepts East Fife apology for sexist chants

Anna Murray says she will be back in the dug-out when the Shire face Elgin on Saturday. Picture: SNS
Anna Murray says she will be back in the dug-out when the Shire face Elgin on Saturday. Picture: SNS
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The physiotherapist at the centre of the row over her treatment from East Fife fans on Saturday has accepted the apology offered by the League 2 side.

Anna Murray was catapulted into the public eye yesterday when the Bayview club apologised on their website for the “chanting and singing by a group of supporters that was disgusting, rude and sexist” during their 1-0 defeat at Ochilview.

The fans were called 
“deplorable and an embarrassment to East Fife”. However, Murray, who has played internationally for the Scotland’s women’s team, wants to draw the matter to a close.

She said: “I grew up in a football-minded family and, as well as playing for Scotland eight times, my uncle, Jim McInally, is the manager of Peterhead. I understand that unfortunate things can be shouted by a minority of fans and I am not the first, and unfortunately not the last, person that it will happen to.”

“I heard bits and pieces of what was shouted and I could laugh at some of it, but there was other stuff that was disappointing. However, as I was doing my job, I was more tuned in to helping the players than listening to the crowd.”

The Hutchison Vale player, who is in her second year at the Shire, added: “East Fife contacted me yesterday afternoon and apologised. I have accepted that apology and moved on. It was unfortunate that it happened, but it will not stop me doing my job. I will be back in the dugout on Saturday when we play Elgin.”

A statement from East Fife’s board read: “The behaviour of a number of East Fife fans who travelled to the game against East Stirlingshire on Saturday was deplorable and an embarrassment to East Fife FC. The chanting and singing by that group of supporters was disgusting, rude and sexist. We are a family club with ladies and child supporters, as are East Stirlingshire FC; they should not have been exposed to this type of language and 

“The club acknowledges that a group of fans wish to sing and chant to add a bit of atmosphere to the stadium during a game but this must be done in a good-mannered way so everyone may enjoy it.

“The club will today apologise to East Stirlingshire FC and more especially, to the lady physiotherapist for the abuse and chanting she was subjected to. The abuse the stewards and match officials were given during and after the match was also considered unacceptable.

“The fans who acted in such a disgusting manner should consider whether they wish to return to Bayview in future as the club cannot be expected to tolerate this behaviour again.”