A RANGERS supporter has been fined after he admitted being part of a crowd singing sectarian songs during one of the club's matches.

Christopher McNally, 36, was convicted of hurling bigoted abuse during a Rangers match just hours after the club's fans were accused of living in "the dark ages" by a leading manager.

McNally used phrases including "f*** the Pope" and “f*** the Vatican" as he formed part of a group of sectarian fans caught on camera during an SPFL match against St Johnstone.

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Perth Sheriff Court was told McNally had no previous convictions and had been attending Rangers matches to take his mind off the untimely death of his teenage daughter.

McNally, Arden Street, Edinburgh, admitted that on 21 May 2017 at McDiarmid Park in Perth he conducted himself in a disorderly manner and breached the peace.

He admitted that, during the match between St Johnstone and Rangers, he sang sectarian lyrics towards opposing supporters in an act which was aggravated by religious prejudice.

Fiscal depute Matthew Kerr told the court McNally had been picked out by specialist police "spotters" who were monitoring the travelling support at the stadium.

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Mr Kerr said the spotters filmed Ibrox season ticket holder McNally and several other fans singing well-known terrace chants with sectarian words towards rival fans.

McNally's solicitor told the court that he wished to apologise and pointed out that he had never been in trouble before and had no other cases outstanding.

The solicitor said: "He was one of a number of people singing these songs and he is very sorry for his behaviour, which he knows is not acceptable."

The court was told that McNally had formerly spent weekends with his daughter, but she had tragically passed away in May 2016 at the age of 13.

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He had been urged by friends to start attending Rangers matches at weekends to take his mind off his daughter's death when he would have been in her company.

The court was told that he had a job and could pay a fine. The Crown did not seek to have him banned from attending football matches in future.

McNally, whose hair was dyed blue in a floppy mohawk style, was fined £560 by Sheriff Keith O'Mahoney, who said: "I hope you have learned your lesson.

Rangers have been asked for comment on McNally's conviction.

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