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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 March, 2004, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Plea for respect to Old Firm fans
A&E chair
Unison said attacks on members rise after Old Firm games
Scotland's largest healthcare union has called on Celtic and Rangers fans to respect NHS staff should they require treatment after Sunday's match.

The Old Firm fixture traditionally triggers an increase in physical abuse directed at nurses and emergency workers, Unison has warned.

Incidents of verbal abuse are also found to rise. Spokesman Jim Devine said the conduct of some supporters after clashes was inexcusable.

Mr Devine said: "One accident and emergency consultant described the abuse that staff received, following the most recent Celtic and Rangers game, as the worst he had seen in 30 years of working in the National Health Service.

"A nurse, working nightshift that night, told me that if she had had to record the verbal abuse she had received in the first hour of her shift she would have spent the remainder of her duty recording it."

He added: "This type of physical and verbal abuse is unacceptable.

"Our message to Old Firm fans is - enjoy the game but don't abuse our members."

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