Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

DUP man accepts Celtic game invite

A DUP MP today said he has accepted an invitation to watch Celtic play at their home ground in Glasgow, which was issued after he and his wife were abused by fans on a ferry.



Gregory Campbell, MP for East Londonderry, said he hopes to see the 'Hoops' play before the end of the season after the couple were targeted by drunken supporters in September.

The former chairman of Celtic Brian Quinn lashed out at followers who verbally abused Mr Campbell and his wife Frances as they returned from a trip to Scotland.

And he invited the couple to visit Parkhead to see the team play and to observe efforts made by the club to combat sectarianism in the game.

Mr Campbell said at the time that he would consider the offer.

And after some friendly cajoling from the new Celtic chairman - and former Northern Ireland Secretary of State - John Reid, the politician said today he was hopeful that he could find a date to take up the offer.

Mr Campbell is a big fan of the other half of the Old Firm, Glasgow Rangers, as well as local team Institute, but says he may switch sides for one night only.

"The former chair Brian Quinn wrote to me after the incident inviting me to see Celtic and I said at the time I would consider it," he said.

"The new chair is John Reid and of course I know him very well from his time as Secretary of State. He was joking with me and we had a chat and I told him I am hopeful that I can get to Parkhead before the end of the season, although nothing has been arranged yet."

At the time of the incident, Mr Campbell told the Telegraph that he acknowledged that only a very small minority of supporters were behind the sectarian rants aimed at him and his wife.

"I realise that this was the effort of a small number of sectarian bigots and not representative of all supporters," said Mr Campbell.

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