Falkirk and Dunfermline fans told to ‘mind behaviour’ in wake of fake eyeballs taunt

Falkirk fans threw plastic eyeballs at Dunfermline midfielder Dean Shiels
Falkirk fans threw plastic eyeballs at Dunfermline midfielder Dean Shiels

Football fans have been warned to be on their best behaviour ahead of tomorrow’s derby clash between Falkirk and Dunfermline at The Falkirk Stadium.

The sides will go head-to-head for the first time since Pars midfielder Dean Shiels had fake eyeballs thrown at him by away supporters during an ill-tempered league encounter at East End Park in January.

The 32-year-old Northern Irishman, who had a damaged eye surgically removed in 2006, was abused by Falkirk fans as the hosts ran out 2-0 winners.

Two men, aged 20 and 21, were later charged over the incident under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act.

Back in October, Bairns players Joe McKee and Kevin O’Hara were given suspensions after being found guilty of taunting Shiels over the loss of his eye during a Scottish Challenge Cup fixture.

Police and club officials are desperate to avoid a repeat of the trouble witnessed at the clubs’ previous meetings this weekend.

Extra officers will be deployed at the Scottish Championship match amid concerns over potential crowd trouble.

Community Inspector Ewan Wilson, of Falkirk Police Station, said: “We will have an increased presence at the stadium because of what happened in the last derby game.

“But we’re hoping it’s going to be a day that passes by without incident.

“It’s a sporting occasion after all and we don’t want the fans’ focus to be on the previous game.

“We’re asking fans of both teams to be mindful of their behaviour.

“We just want people to enjoy the game in the proper way.”

A statement published on Falkirk’s official website also reminded supporters of club expectations.

It read: “Football is all about passion and rivalry, it goes without saying that there will be no shortage of both on and off the field this weekend.

“There have been some terrific matches over the years between both Falkirk and Dunfermline with both sets of fans creating a vociferous atmosphere.

“There is, however, a line that cannot be crossed.

“In recent fixtures that line has been crossed and it is something that we, as a club, will not stand for.

“As a result of this, you will see an increased security presence in and around The Falkirk Stadium on Saturday.

“Please remember that if unacceptable conduct rules are breached then it is the club’s reputation at stake.”