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PSNI arrests man over murder of fan near Celtic Park in 1994

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 07/10/2015

Murder victim Derek Sheerin
Murder victim Derek Sheerin

A man has been arrested in Northern Ireland in connection with one of Scotland's most notorious unsolved murders.

Derek Sheerin was found dead near Celtic Football Club's stadium in the east end of Glasgow in September 1994.

The 24-year-old had been strangled and his half-naked body dumped in weeds.

Yesterday Police Scotland, assisted by detectives from the PSNI's serious crime branch, detained a man in Londonderry.

The 39-year-old suspect was taken to Glasgow for questioning.

Police remain baffled by Mr Sheerin's death - more than 20 years after the horrific attack.

Detectives looked at the possibility of a homosexual motive or a drugs link, but pleas for information went unanswered.

In 1999 officers reopened the case in a desperate bid to shed light on the mystery. Mr Sheerin, a Rangers fan, lived with his sister Diane and had two other sisters and a brother.

His family described him as "very generous and kind-hearted".

Mr Sheerin was strangled by his killer and his partially-clad body lay for almost a day before it was discovered by three teenage girls.

At the time the case was reopened, it was reported that Mr Sheerin met his killer in Glasgow city centre and invited him home.

Another theory was that Derek knew his killer and had agreed to meet him outside a club.

The original inquiry was wound down after only a few months.

In 2001 it emerged 'limbs in the loch' killer William Beggs was being investigated over the murder.

Beggs, originally from Lurgan, was convicted in October 2001 of murdering 18-year-old Barry Wallace after a Christmas night out.

After murdering Mr Wallace, Beggs dismembered his body, leaving the parts in Loch Lomond and throwing his head into the sea off Troon. Beggs had previously been cleared of a similar murder on a technicality.

He had been jailed in 1987 for murdering a barman he met in a gay nightclub by slashing his throat, only to have the conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal.

After his conviction for Mr Wallace's murder, police described him as a "serial killer in the making". At the time of Mr Sheerin's killing, Beggs had just been freed from prison after serving half of a six-year sentence.

He had been jailed for a horrifying razor attack on a man at his flat in Kilmarnock.

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey from serious crime branch appealed to people in Derry who have any information about the murder to contact detectives at Maydown using the non-emergency number 101.

They can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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