KRIS Boyd told a story yesterday which sadly and depressingly highlighted where Scottish football finds itself in these supposedly enlightened liberal times.

It was about a kid, a Kilmarnock fan, scared to attend Rugby Park for a league game, not one against either Celtic or Rangers, in case there was any trouble at the ground.

There will be more than a few convinced that Boyd made this tale up in order to support his argument that supporter behaviour is at its worst for years, maybe decades, and those who indulge in verbal abuse, throwing coins onto the pitch, and the many other crimes committed during what is supposed to be a fun sporting event, believe themselves to be above the law.

Or idiots, as he put it.

I believe it because it’s, well, so believable. But judge for yourselves.

Boyd said: “Somebody contacted me recently asking if I’d get in touch with a young, eight year old little boy because he was terrified to come to a Kilmarnock game because of what happened in that Celtic match.

Evening Times:

READ MORE: Kris Boyd to SFA bosses: Justify your wages and deal with Scottish football's sectarian problem

“It’s not right that a kid of that age is worried about watching football.”

Not all primary school children are keen on players being hit by coins and pitch invasions. Funny that.

Those of us who cut our terracing teeth in the 1980s, when football hooliganism was on television more than Coronation Street, would never have been too bothered about flares and coconuts.

After all, this was Scotland.

Okay, we could swear with the best of them, songs questioning Jimmy Hill’s personality would now be regarded as un-PC and, yes, at Ibrox and Celtic Park there were the old favourites about Catholics and Protestants fighting one another.belted out.

That’s the best part of 40 years ago. A lot has changed in society since then, much of it for the better.

And yet in 2019, football in Scotland in terms of bad behaviour is worse than it was in those supposed Dark Age days. How did we get here?

Boyd said: “Some people need to wake up to how their behaviour is impacting on other people. There are 18, 19, 20-year-olds who are going to games thinking the way they behave is acceptable.

Evening Times:

READ MORE: John Hartson: If Celtic had behaved the way Aberdeen did, all hell would be breaking out

“If they aren’t weeded out now everything could explode. There is an older generation fed up with it and who won’t take their kids to games.

“If clubs want to depend on these 100 or 200 people who probably go and get tanked up with the bevvy before going to a game to hurl abuse at people and chuck things, then that’s up to them.

“But for me they know who exactly they are. They sit in the same sections every week. So the clubs should go in and sort them out. Every fan shouldn’t be punished for the actions of those idiots.

“I thought we’d reached a tipping point on all of this weeks ago when you saw the incidents that happened. But it’s like some people are just hoping it goes away instead of actually doing something about it.”

Just when the actual product has come good, some of those who go to the games have opted to ignore common decency and what their fellow supporters want from the experience of going to a match.

Evening Times:

READ MORE: Neil Lennon confident Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths can return in time to feature in Scottish Cup final

Boyd said: “Scottish football is in a good place on the pitch in terms of managers, players and even officials, but these idiots and morons in the stand keep wasting it for everybody else.

“It’s not everyone and this is why we need to nip it in the bud pretty quickly.

“There is a younger generation of football fans going to these games who now think this is the norm to go and behave and do what they do.

“The songs you could get away with a few years ago, but now you can’t.

“These youngsters coming to games think they can turn up and do what they want. Flares, Buckfast bottles, coins, lighters, whoever wants to take a coconut to a game is beyond me, but it’s another thing we’ve seen being thrown at players, managers.

“If the SFA don’t act and sort it out, these youngsters coming to the game now are going to think that is the norm and that is pretty worrying.

Boyd has been the victim of abuse this season. He was hit by a coin and targeted for sectarian abuse while warming up in front of the Celtic supporters. Alas, this is far from an isolated incident.

Boyd said: “If someone walks down the street and hurls abuse at you, you are going to hurl abuse back. If someone walks down the street and punches you, you are going to punch them back.

“You look at the Hibs fan coming on the pitch and having a go at James Tavernier. If he had turned round and punched him, he would have been sent off for nothing because someone had a go at him.

Evening Times:

READ MORE: Celtic condemn their own fans for sectarian chanting but want abuse from Aberdeen supporters investigated

“I can only speak for myself. I could quite easily have picked a coin up (during the Celtic game at Rugby Park) and thrown it back at the crowd, but why?

“You are giving them what they want and you are the one who looks like an idiot.

“I’m sure Derek McInnes probably woke up Monday morning with regret that he responded to the idiots at Hampden.

“I’m sure plenty of other managers and players who would have woken up and wondered why they reacted because, when you do, you are giving them more ammunition to think they can get a reaction. So the next time, they’ll go and do it again.”

And again and again.

Kris Boyd was speaking at an event on behalf of his Charity at which he donated £10,000 to Ayrshire Samaritans.

Boyd said: “The overwhelming generosity of the public allows us to do this. This is a fantastic cause and deals with people with Mental Health issues.”

Director of Ayrshire Samaritans, Cathy Gibson, said: “This fantastic donation will allow us to continue the service we provide. We receive hundreds of calls and visitors every week from people in need of help.”