A north-east dad is asking football fans to be more careful while at games after his son was injured during raucous goal celebrations.
Shane Fenton and his son Riddick were supporting Aberdeen at Motherwell’s Fir Park on Saturday when the nine-year-old’s legs got trapped under the stand seats.
Just three minutes into the game, Aberdeen’s Christian Ramirez scored which resulted in “overzealous” celebrations from the away fans.
“All the fans started jumping, they all piled forward and ended up in different rows,” Mr Fenton said.
“The emergency exit stairs were all blocked and Riddick’s right leg got trapped under his own seat behind him and on top of the seat in front.
“You can’t even put blame on anyone as such, they just got over excited when the goal was scored. It’s not like there was any malice involved.”
A lucky escape
The nine-year-old’s knee was “between 45 and 90 degrees out of place” but luckily went back in with help from the club medic.
Other fans celebrating the goal ended up on top of young Riddick, leaving his father with no option but to use force to get them off.
Mr Fenton continued: “I had to resort to kicking people off him using my foot and pushing them. We were on the aisle seat and we couldn’t get out because the fans decided to storm down the stairs and block it.
“Nobody would get out of my way. I had to force my way through carrying a child and then climb over a cordoned off bit.
“I’ve never heard him scream like that before and he turned to me and said he’d never seen me cry before.
“After he got his gas and air, he went stone cold white. We were able to move to the disabled seats and I sat with my arm around him the whole time.”
Riddick’s parents took him to the hospital for an X-ray which confirmed he had luckily suffered from no broken bones.
Plea for fans to be more careful
Following the incident on Saturday, Mr Fenton is urging football fans to consider their actions when attending games.
“The whole idea is you go to football, you sing, you shout, and then you go home. But you need to be a bit more careful because a lot of children go to the games,” he said.
“It’s just the actions of a few but they’re going to spoil it for everyone because someone will get hurt, worse than Riddick.
“It wasn’t the club. It wasn’t the stewards. It wasn’t Motherwell. It was Aberdeen’s own fans that did this to one of their own.”
Nervous to return to games
Both clubs have reached out to Riddick and his family to make sure he is recovering well and to extend a personal invite to future matches.
However, the nine-year-old lifelong fan is now “petrified” to go back to games.
The family, who live in Boddam, have hardly missed any Aberdeen FC games over the years and travel all over the country to watch them play.
In 2012, Riddick became a record holder when his parents bought him a Dons season ticket at just two-days-old.
His record was beaten four years later when his younger sister, Khaleesi, got her SPL season ticket just four hours and 34 minutes after her birth.
“The club has always been very good to him,” Mr Fenton added.
Rethink unallocated seating
To help prevent any more harmful situations from occurring in the future, the dad-of-two thinks unallocated seating should be reconsidered.
“I like the idea of the singing and the noise because Aberdeen is very timid, I think they need the fans and the motivation,” he said.
“But if you’re going to stand, stand at the seat you’ve been allocated. It may not have stopped anything from happening, but at least there would be the right amount of people in the row.
“My only real criticism is that unallocated seating should not have been used. If allocated, then you know who the seats were sold to.”
Aberdeen and Motherwell have been contacted for comment.