Police investigation after Kilmarnock fan, 60, seriously assaulted by youth gang

The incident took place on Ferguslie Park Avenue outside the SMiSA Stadium
The incident took place on Ferguslie Park Avenue outside the SMiSA Stadium -Credit:Andrew Neil

Police are appealing for information after a man was hospitalised following a savage daylight attack by a gang of young football fans on Saturday.

The 60-year-old sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries after being set upon by a group of youths following St Mirren's Premiership game with Kilmarnock at the SMiSA stadium. The incident took place around 5pm on Ferguslie Park Avenue.

One Buddie told how a group of young Saints supporters – estimated to be just 12 years old in some cases – waited for Killie fans to leave the ground.

They are understood to have harangued and harassed the away supporters as they left via the White car park exit to Ferguslie Park Avenue following their side’s 1-0 victory.

Lifelong Saints fan David Smart said very young children were seen “cowering” behind their parents as they tried to make their way to their cars.

Calling for all those found to be caught up in any violence to be banned, he told the Paisley Daily Express yesterday: “The Kilmarnock fans were celebrating and it all looked like quite good fun – nobody was being overly provocative or anything.

“They probably dribbled out a bit slower than normal because they were celebrating a fantastic season that they’ve had and so, at the start, it was just a trickle of Kilmarnock fans that were leaving. I came out and I saw the fans looking a bit puzzled and angry.

“I saw this group of around 20 or 30 wee guys with these masks on – like something out of a horror movie – and, to my astonishment, they were trying to get a fight going with what I can only describe as a group of very bemused Kilmarnock fans.

“We’re talking about a group including women and children. You know, parents with their kids, and nobody could quite believe what was happening.

“The wee guys had obviously gone to position themselves there to wait for the Kilmarnock fans to come out. There was no attempt to hide what their intent was.

“There were a few scuffles and the whole thing was just horrible. There were guys charging forward throwing punches and a wee bit of handbag stuff but with serious intent from at least five or six of them.”

David continued: “I was horrified, I was raging. I can’t tell you how angry I was by the whole situation. St Mirren are doing so much to be a community club and this is the last thing we need.

“I saw one father and his young boy and girl, they were probably about 10. They were cowering behind him and that’s now going to be their memory of St Mirren.

“These guys are incredibly young, between 12 and 14, maybe some of them are a wee bit older. They’re just wee boys.

“The problem they had was it was just a trickle of Kilmarnock fans when they started their attack but, shortly after, there was about 1,500 of them and then the gang got chased down the road a bit.”

The man injured in the attack was rushed to Crosshouse University Hospital in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, for treatment. Police are now appealing for all those who witnessed the attack or who may have dash-cam footage of the chaos to come forward.

Detective Constable Robert Urquhart of Paisley CID said: “Extensive enquiries are being carried out to establish the full circumstances of this incident.

“We know that the area was busy at the time and would ask anyone who witnessed the incident and who hasn’t already spoken to police to get in touch.

“I would also ask any motorists with dash-cams who were in the area to check their footage in case they have captured anything which could assist with the investigation.”

St Mirren Football Club also asked witnesses to Saturday’s events to contact police.

A spokesperson said: “St Mirren is committed to making the matchday experience enjoyable for all that visit the SMiSA

“The club continues to invest a lot of time and research into ensuring that we are inclusive to all and recently launched our ‘Everyone is Welcome, We’re all Buddies’ campaign. As this is an ongoing police investigation, we will be making no comment on the specific incident.”

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