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Crusaders will ban fan who spat at legend David Healy

By Graham Luney

Champions Crusaders will ban the fan who spat at Linfield boss David Healy during Saturday's Danske Bank Premiership clash at Seaview.

Northern Ireland goalscoring legend Healy was fuming after the attack, labelling the so-called supporter as lower than a "tramp in the street".

The Crues are also angry that their club has once again been embroiled in a spitting incident - just a month after Glentoran goalkeeper Elliott Morris was spat at after a league game at Seaview.

In a statement Crusaders said: "With regards to the alleged spitting incident at the Crusaders v Linfield match on Saturday,  Crusaders wish to express their disgust that such a disgusting act could happen at Seaview. The club are pursuing a definite line of enquiry into identifying the perpetrator and will ban the individual from future games at Seaview for life and if possible all grounds in Northern Ireland.

"Crusaders Football Club would like to make it very clear that they find such disgusting behaviour totally wrong. It is a low act to do such a dispicable thing and there is no place in society for such action. Anyone with information about the incident can contact the club anonymously."

Following that episode, the north Belfast club warned fans this "disgusting behaviour" would result in a ban and, following the attack on former Rangers striker Healy, the Crues have identified the culprit and will enforce that punishment.

A Crusaders representative last night told the Belfast Telegraph that the fan guilty of the offence is not a season ticket holder but that wouldn't stop them banning the culprit from Seaview.

After the Morris incident, the embarrassed Crues stated: "After weekend reports over an alleged spitting incident at the end of the Crusaders v Glentoran game involving a supporter and Glentoran keeper Elliott Morris, Crusaders FC would like to make it very clear that they find such disgusting behaviour totally wrong.

"It is a low act to do such a despicable thing and there is no place in society for such action.

"An investigation is ongoing into the matter and the club will not hesitate to ban the individual for life from Seaview if found.

"Anyone with information about the incident can contact the club anonymously."

Healy and Linfield midfielder Jamie Mulgrew both saw red during the feisty contest, which the visitors won 2-1.

After the Linfield chief attempted to put the ball out of play once midfielder Stephen Lowry sustained a head injury, a mass brawl erupted and Northern Ireland’s record goalscorer was spat at by one fan in the home stand.

“I can handle bad things said about me and even coins being thrown at me. What I can’t stand is a grown man spitting on me,” raged Healy.

“He was standing over the railings above the dugout. Tramps in the street would not lower themselves to that standard.

“It’s a problem at Seaview. Glenavon had the same trouble last season and I know Glentoran had a problem here four or five weeks ago when Elliott Morris was spat at.”

The incident against the Lurgan Blues regarded an allegation that Glenavon physio Lyn Carpenter was spat at.

Linfield have filed an official appeal to the Irish FA over the venue for the final of the County Antrim Shield after it was scheduled for Seaview and this unsavoury incident is expected to intensify their efforts to see the match staged elsewhere.

The Blues are set to face Crusaders at Seaview in the final of the Shield on Tuesday, January 24.

Saturday’s spitting incident overshadowed a tense, intriguing battle between the league’s top two and it also generates negative publicity for Crusaders, who pride themselves on being a family club with a strong community ethos.

 

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