Players at Rangers FC were left “disgusted and disappointed” after graffiti referencing the 1971 Ibrox disaster was carved into the side of their tour bus while in the north-east this weekend.
The Gers were in the Granite City for a Scottish Premiership match against Aberdeen FC yesterday, which the Dons won 2 – 1.
The Glasgow side’s vehicle was damaged in the early hours of yesterday morning at Ardoe House Hotel on South Deeside Road.
Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident.
The Ibrox graffiti referred to the tragedy which took place at the Glasgow stadium on January 2, 1971, when 66 fans were crushed to death at the end of an Old Firm game.
The team’s vehicle was also defaced with the message “Durrant Dived”, referring to former Ibrox star Ian Durrant who was injured after a tackle from Dons star Neil Simpson in 1988.
When the bus arrived at Pittodrie, black tape had been put over the vandalism.
A police spokesman said: “We have been made aware of reports of vandalism in the Deeside area of Aberdeenshire in the early hours of this morning.
“Inquiries into this matter are ongoing and anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 55 111 if you would prefer to remain anonymous.”
A spokesman for Rangers FC last night said: “We are disgusted and disappointed by this act of vandalism.
“In particular, the reference to the Ibrox disaster in which 66 people lost their lives was particularly vile.
“This sort of behaviour has no place in civilised society.
“The incident was immediately reported to Police Scotland and we will assist them with their inquiries.”
An Aberdeen FC spokesman said: “We are particularly disappointed with this act of vandalism and do not condone it.”
Earlier this week police issued warnings to fans attending the game and watching it from premises across the city that any form of anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated.
Extra officers – including those on horseback – were in force across Aberdeen before, during and after the game to crack down on criminality.
Over the course of the match itself, police arrested at least three people.
A police spokeswoman said last night: “Officers continue to undertake a policing operation across the north-east following today’s match at Pittodrie, working alongside partners to ensure public safety is a priority as is always the case with such high profile fixtures.”