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Ex-Rangers hero Novo plays on at Glentoran despite death threats

By Claire Williamson

Published 12/09/2016

Glentoran’s Nacho Novo
Glentoran’s Nacho Novo
Glentoran’s Nacho Novo

Glentoran star and former Rangers hero Nacho Novo has been warned by police that he is under a threat of death.

The 37-year-old has been given security advice in the wake of the threat.

Glentoran chairman Stephen Henderson praised the striker for continuing to play, as he took to the pitch for Saturday's 2-0 defeat against Ards.

Initially it was reported that the threat was "severe" but this has since been reduced to "low".

In a statement to the Belfast Telegraph, Glentoran confirmed the threat.

It said: "This is a highly sensitive issue and the club has been working closely with the police since it was first made aware of the threat.

"When first contacted by the PSNI we were informed that the level of the threat was deemed to be 'high'. This has subsequently been reduced to 'low'.

"While this is an improvement in the situation, we remain vigilant.

"Glentoran will remain fully supportive of the player as he continues to experience an unnecessary and unacceptable ordeal.

"Glentoran has been a proactively inclusive, cross-community football club since its inception in 1882.

"We employ players, coaching personnel, irrespective of background. The same applies to our supporters."

Club chairman Mr Henderson told a Sunday newspaper that it was a "very serious situation".

He said: "We gave the player as much help and support as we could.

"It included him missing training sessions in order to facilitate his own personal security.

"For anyone who experiences this sort of situation there is obviously shock, and grave concern that such a thing is brought to their door.

"Over the course of time, however, he has shown a very deep sense of character in terms of not letting it put him off playing football."

Novo joined Glentoran at the beginning of August.

The forward started his career at home in Spain before moving to Scotland to play for Raith Rovers in 2001.

He then moved to Dundee before joining Rangers in 2004, where his established himself as a cult hero among fans, scoring almost 50 goals across six seasons and winning six trophies with the Ibrox club.

After Rangers, he travelled all over the world to play, including with Sporting Gijon in Spain and Legia Warsaw in Poland.

Before joining Glentoran, Novo was playing in the USA for Carolina Railhawks.

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