FORMER SFA Category 1 referee Louis Thow has told of his experience handling an Old Firm derby where a player claimed he was shot in the back by a fan.
The game involved reserve sides Celtic and Rangers who locked horns at Parkhead in 1978, the day after a first-team game between the two rivals took place across town at Ibrox.
Former Ayr United stalwart Eric Morris ran to Thow in agony before claiming he had been hit in the back with a pellet gun.
Play was halted while Thow and his officials discussed with the police and the two managers what action to take, but upon further examination no weapons were found inside the stadium.
“The day after that game at Ibrox I received a call from the SFA, this time from Peter Donald, who asked if I was available to play another Old Firm reserve game within the same team of officials who had made the match. at Ibrox,” Thow recalled. “They obviously thought we were fine so we went to Parkhead and this time there was an incident that I won’t forget.
“It was just before half-time when Eric Morris from Rangers, a lad from Ayrshire who never really made it at Ibrox but went on to have a good junior career, ran up to me. “I was shot! ” he told me. “What do you mean, shot?” I asked, to which he replied, “in my ass.” “You take the mick Eric? I asked and being assured that was not the case, I realized that I had to investigate this alleged assault.
“The idea that someone managed to stick a gun in the ground was obviously very worrying. I got the managers out of the dugout, notified the police who were there and then we had to investigate the source of Eric’s pain… we found nothing and the game was over, fortunately, without further incident.
Thow was talking to Alastair Blair in his book STOP THE GAME: WE’LL STOP THE GOALKEEPER; Scottish Football Referees and Scotland’s Influence on the Laws of the Game. This book is available for purchase online HERE.
. confrontation Celtic Rangers where player claimed that he had received a ball in back