A DAD has spoken of how his traumatised son had to be taken to hospital after he was crushed outside Celtic Park.

The Celtic fan, who asked not to be named, was separated from his 15-year-old son for an agonising few minutes during the chaos before Sunday’s Old Firm match.

After arriving around 11am, the pair made their way into the stadium via the underpass at Janefield Street where they became just two of thousands trapped in the crowd.

Speaking the day after it was announced an investigation into the incident would take place, the father said: “It was absolute chaos. No-one had been told that the gate was closed so everyone was carrying on as normal until it became gridlock and we couldn’t turn around.

“The stewards were no help at all and they couldn’t even radio to get help.”

While immersed in the crowd, the 15-year-old boy became separated from his dad, who was helping another child who was ‘turning blue’.

The parent added: “There was such little room to move or breathe and men, women and children were all getting upset.

“I had to take my son to hospital on Monday because he was in pain after being stuck in there. The club knew it was going to have thousands of extra Celtic fans trying to get in, so why would they close the gate? 

“Their reputation is completely tarnished – it wasn’t like anything I have ever seen.”

Calls have been made for an independent review into the policing strategy behind the match, which left five fans injured.

Problems arose when supporters tried to enter through a gate which had been locked as part of a new access arrangement.

Thousands were still allowed to enter the underpass while other supporters headed towards adjoining stands. In an effort to escape the congested tunnel, ticket holders scaled fences to get out.

One person was rushed to hospital after falling from the wall bordering Janefield Street, while another four were treated by first aiders before going into the ground.

The Old Firm derby was the first time new segregation and access arrangements had been enforced by Police Scotland and the club.
Both bodies will be investigating the incident, but local politicians have said it will not go far enough.

Councillor Thomas Kerr said: “There should be an independent review into this incident. Serious questions remain unanswered. Why was the gate shut? Who authorised this? And were the police and Celtic fully prepared for this event? 

“Those people who were injured deserve answers and we must ensure this never happens again.”

Councillor Frank McAveety said lessons need to be learned “quickly”. He added: “It’s a chilling sight to see football fans having to scale fences and climb their way out of trouble.

“Lessons need to be learned quickly and hopefully the investigation will be thorough and ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

James Kelly, Scottish Labour and Co-op MSP for Glasgow, condemned the use of police horses during the congestion.

He said: “There will need to be a serious review in relation to this incident.  It also reinforces the need for an independent review of policing of football matches.”

A spokesman for Celtic said: “The safety of our fans will always be of paramount importance. The club, along with Police Scotland, will be investigating this matter fully to identify the causes and take the appropriate steps to ensure this does not happen again at Celtic Park. 

“The club and Police Scotland will advise of the outcome of this investigation once it is complete.

“We are fully aware of the serious difficulties which arose yesterday for supporters, and we sincerely regret and apologise that so many fans were faced with this situation.”