FOOTBALL: Falkirk apologise to Dean Shiels for fake eyeball incident

Northern Ireland's Dean Shiels
Northern Ireland's Dean Shiels
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Falkirk have apologised and vowed to take action against the culprits after some of their fans threw fake eyes towards Dunfermline midfielder Dean Shiels during last night’s Ladbrokes Championship derby.

Shiels was already the centre of attention in the East End Park encounter, with Falkirk still missing the suspended Joe McKee and Kevin O’Hara after the pair were handed a combined 12-match ban by the Scottish Football Association after being found guilty of taunting Shiels over the loss of an eye.

But the former Rangers and Hibernian player, son of Derry City boss Kenny Shiels, had to deal with chants from visiting fans as well as distasteful missiles as his team won 2-0 in front of 7,140 fans.

Last night Falkirk issued a statement condemning the actions of some of their supporters, saying: “Falkirk FC apologises unreservedly to Dean Shiels and Dunfermline Athletic FC for the abhorrent behaviour of a small number of individuals at this afternoon’s Ladbrokes Championship match.

“The club wholeheartedly condemns the abuse witnessed towards Dean Shiels in the strongest terms...”

It added: “We will look to take action against anyone identified from today’s game and will not allow this disgraceful behaviour to be repeated.”

Shiels underwent surgery in 2006 after losing sight in one eye in a domestic accident when he was eight years old.

Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston earlier said on his club’s official website: “You never like to hear stuff like that. It’s poor. And that’s why guys like Dean Shiels - it’s great discipline he showed. The whole team showed that.

“That’s why it was important to get the win as well, when stuff like that is going on in the background. Saying that, I think a lot of them left early so they probably didn’t see too much.”