Barrie McKay addresses Celtic bottle incident as winger claims he was targeted 'due to my Rangers history'

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Barrie McKay fears it’s only a matter of time before a player is seriously injured by missile-throwing morons after he was struck by a flying bottle at Celtic Park.

McKay’s warning comes as police said a 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with items being thrown on the pitch during Celtic’s 1-0 victory over Hearts on Thursday.

Celtic condemned the incident and confirmed they had been in touch with Hearts as they launch their own probe.

Coins, cups and pies also rained down on Hearts winger McKay in separate incidents on another shameful night for Scottish football in front of the live TV cameras.

Just 24 hours earlier Rangers and Hibs fans lobbed flares onto the park at Easter Road.

McKay was unharmed in the bottle incident that occurred as he went to take a corner late on in his side’s defeat.

The 26-year-old says he’s used to abuse from opposition fans when taking corners but has never been struck by an object before.

And he reckons he was targeted for being a former Rangers player.

He said: “It wasn’t easy. Due to my history at Rangers, that’s probably why. It’s hard to really stop it, you need to deal with it.

“It wasn’t nice being hit by a bottle for the first time in my career. I think it was full as well.

“There were a few coins going past my head and then obviously the bottle.

“I spoke to the ref and he said that’s why the stewards were over there. But then you go to hit another one and there are still coins and stuff flying past.

Barrie McKay addresses Celtic bottle incident as winger claims he was targeted 'due to my Rangers history'
© DR MacKay was hit with a bottle

“It’s dangerous. If one of those catches you it could cause some serious harm.

“I’ve had abuse and that before when I’ve gone over to take corners. But I’ve never had anything thrown at me – or hit me – before.”

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson said the incident was “disappointing” while Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

And last night a Celtic spokesman said: “Clearly such behaviour has no place at Celtic Park. We have already been in contact with Hearts, the club will also investigate the matter fully and we will take all appropriate action.”

McKay added: “It’s hard not to be distracted but you need to try to put it to the back of your mind.

“The first corner I managed to put it in for Stephen and we created a few chances. But it’s difficult.”

Police confirmed on Friday that an arrest has been made and a report submitted to the procurator fiscal in relation to the incident.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with items thrown onto the pitch during a match at Celtic Park during the evening of Thursday, December 2.

“A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal and further enquiries are ongoing.”

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