Ex-Celtic player sorry for Linfield laser claims

Linfield Football Club has said they are not in a position to consider an apology from an ex-Celtic player who claimed he had been targeted by laser range finders at Windsor Park.

Wednesday, 28th June 2017, 6:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:47 am
Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew and Celtic's Brendan Rodgers celebrate league success with their respective clubs

Blues’ chairman Roy McGivern said an article published in the Daily Record and Joe Miller’s subsequent apology was not top of the club’s priorities.

Mr Miller had alleged that during a match between Aberdeen and Linfield in the 1990s he was the target of laser range finders and that angry home fans confronted Aberdeen players in the street.

Mr Miller told Wednesday’s Daily Record: “During an interview last week with several members of the Scottish press I recounted an event but I got the grounds mixed up. I realise that now. I mistakenly thought it was Windsor Park but it wasn’t.

“This event occurred over 25 years ago and my memory has let me down. I apologise to Linfield Football Club for any offence taken. These comments weren’t intended to be a slight on the club or their fans.”

Asked if Linfield accepted Mr Miller’s apology, Mr McGivern said this morning: “The club hasn’t even considered it. As far as I’m aware he hasn’t contacted us to make an official apology.”

He added: “We’ve written to the newspaper who wrote the article and are awaiting their response with interest. They wrote the article, not Joe Miller.”

Mr McGivern added: “We put out our statement on Monday night about what we thought of the article and that’s as far as we’re going at this time. It is at the very bottom of a long list of things with the (Champions’ League qualifying) games against La Fiorita top of our priorities.

“We were sure what was described in the Daily Record hadn’t happened at Windsor Park and we were proved correct.

“The club will continue to respond if there are similar accusations made against us in the press. We cannot let the club’s name be dragged into the gutter.”

Mr McGivern said that if Linfield get past their opponents from San Marino and meet Celtic he was extremely hopeful of the first leg in Belfast being televised.

Celtic boss and Carnlough native Brendan Rodgers said while he understood the issues around the potential game, he was disappointed Celtic fans from Northern Ireland would not be able to attend a game on ‘home turf’ as the club would not be taking their ticket allocation at Windsor Park.

Speaking from Celtic’s pre-season training base in Austria, he said the game was a chance to showcase a “new Northern Ireland”.

He said: “I understand the issues around it, but there will be a sadness for me because I saw it as a great opportunity to show that two teams can have fans who can support and be passionate but live and support together.”