Shire player suspended pending police inquiry

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A youth footballer who allegedly made offensive comments about the Ibrox Disaster on a social media website has been suspended by East Stirlingshire FC.

Under-19 player Brett Molloy is accused of posting unsavoury remarks about the 1971 tragedy at Rangers’ home ground, which killed 66 people, on Facebook.

Molloy has denied making the comments, but while Central Scotland Police did not receive a complaint about them, Strathclyde Police did and have launched an investigation.

Shire chairman Tony Ford, who issued a sincere apology to Rangers and the families of those who died in the disaster, confirmed the player’s suspension.

He told The Falkirk Herald moments ago: “He (Molloy) has been suspended pending an investigation by the club, and more importantly, by police.

“Hopefully we will have a response sooner rather than later as it has been heartbreaking for everyone involved and we would like to put it to bed as soon as possible.”

He added: “I previously issued a full and frank statement about the situation because this is a fine club and I have to protect its reputation.

“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but at the end of the day someone posted these comments and it has sickened everyone at this club.

“If the player has transgressed we will deal with it at the appropriate time. Everyone here is an ambassador for this club whether they play for the youth team or the first team. This club is one team, one entirety.”

A crush at Ibrox on an exit stairway killed 66 people and injured 200 on January 2, 1971 during a match with Glasgow rivals Celtic.

Rangers condemned the comments, but acknowledged the “swift” apology issued by Mr Ford earlier this week.

Molloy has also denied making the comments on Twitter saying his Facebook account was hacked.

A statement on Shire’s website said: “The allegations made against the player are now the subject of a police investation. “The player has been suspended by the club pending its own internal disciplinary process and there will be no further comment on the matter until these have been completed.”