Outrage as trolls mock Linfield fan's death at Glentoran game
Vicious trolls were condemned yesterday for mocking an elderly Linfield fan who died watching his beloved team play Belfast rivals Glentoran.
A war of words broke out on social media between football fans, angered by insensitive remarks about the death of the man at Saturday's match.
The Linfield supporter became ill in the second half of the game. He was sitting in the lower tier of the North Stand at Windsor Park when fellow fans noticed he was not well and alerted paramedics.
St John's Ambulance staff and Linfield's doctor came to the man's aid before a cardiac ambulance arrived at the stadium.
Players and supporters took to social media after the game to pay respects to the man, described by many as a "gentleman". However, kind words soon turned to anger as they lambasted a group of Glentoran fans for a series of "disgusting" remarks posted online following the man's death.
Several football supporters condemned the comments. One woman called the message "one of the sickest tweets I've ever read." She added: "It's times like these we look past rivalries. Disgusting."
Another called the messages a "disgrace to the Irish League".
The comments, too shocking to print, were posted by several Glentoran fans on social media site Twitter hours after the man's death and made reference to Glentoran scoring a last minute equaliser. Another said: "one less [Linfield fan] to worry about."
Linfield drew 1-1 with Glentoran in the Danske Bank Premiership match. Despite their rivalry, both fans and team members offered condolences to the man's family.
One supporter wrote: "Everyone pulled together to try and save this gentleman's life and must be commended for their efforts. Great dignity was given and fans did as requested without question. May God bless his family at this difficult time."
The man's son thanked those who tried to help his father in a message. He wrote: "From the paramedics to the fans and doctors at the RVH. Blue is the colour."
A statement from Linfield said: "The sympathy and condolences of everyone at Linfield FC are extended to the family and friends of the Linfield supporter who sadly passed away during today's 'Big Two' game at Windsor Park.
"The club is aware of the identity of the gentleman but is not posting his name at this stage to allow time for next of kin to be informed. Further acknowledgement will be provided after a suitable period of time.
A statement posted by Glentoran FC offered "sincere condolences" to the family and friends of the Linfield supporter who tragically died at Saturday's "Big Two" game in Belfast.
"A human tragedy of this nature unites all decent football supporters, clubs and members of the broad football community."