Belfast Telegraph

Crusaders fan taunted player about his dead father

Cliftonville striker Joe Gormley (right) with Crusaders’ Kyle Owens on Saturday
Cliftonville striker Joe Gormley (right) with Crusaders’ Kyle Owens on Saturday
Ivan Little

By Ivan Little

An Irish League footballer has hit out after a rival fan spat at him and another mocked his late father.

Cliftonville striker Joe Gormley revealed that the incidents happened on Saturday at a derby game against fellow north Belfast club Crusaders. The Crues won the match at Seaview 2-0.

In a tweet Gormley, who has played in England with Peterborough, said: "Football is football. I give stick and take it but the fan today spitting on me is the lowest of the low."

Gormley said another supporter asked him where his dead father was.

"Hopefully the guy who did it doesn't lose someone so close," he added.

Players and supporters from Crusaders were quick to condemn the people responsible.

Crues star Kyle Owens, who scored one of his team's two goals, tweeted that he heard every word and described Gormley as a 'gentleman' and urged him to 'keep his head up'.

"Fans is fans," he tweeted. "But today was a bit far."

Crusaders players Sean O'Neill, Philip Lowry and Sean Ward also expressed regret over the incidents. In a reference to the Crues fans, Ward tweeted: "Shame on them."

In a tweet, Crusaders supporter Glenn Kelly said: "I can only apologise on behalf of a bunch of d*******s. The rivalry is severe between Crues and Cliftonville but there is a line that has been well crossed today."

Dozens of other supporters called for Crusaders to try to identify the culprits and ban them for life.

In a separate incident on Saturday, Championship club Carrick Rangers issued a statement condemning trouble which flared at its game against Larne.

A supporters' bus reportedly had its windows smashed.

Carrick said: "Carrick Rangers FC totally condemns the anti-social behaviour outside our stadium following today's match against Larne.

"We are glad that no supporters were injured by the actions of a mindless few who in no way represent football supporters or our club."

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