Dean Shiels played under manager and father, Kenny, at Kilmarnock, winning the 2012 Scottish League Cup

Dean Shiels is abused “every week” by supporters in Scottish football, according to the Dunfermline Athletic midfielder’s father, Kenny Shiels.

Falkirk apologised to Shiels junior after fake eyeballs were thrown onto the pitch during Tuesday’s Championship game.

The Northern Ireland international, 32, had an eye removed in 2006.

“It’s been going on for a while in Scotland,” Kenny Shiels told BBC Northern Ireland of his son’s taunting.

Shiels lost sight in one eye in a domestic accident at the age of eight, having the eye removed 12 years later.

He began his professional career at Arsenal, enjoyed spells at Hibernian, Kilmarnock and Rangers, and has won 14 caps.

‘Abuse was premeditated’

His father, who manages Derry City, said: “He played in the Edinburgh derby and got it there, he got it at St Mirren – he gets it every week, he says.

Family upset over fans’ abuse of Dean Shiels

“But this was premeditated. Someone… [has gone to buy] eyeballs in a shop.”

Falkirk players Joe McKee and Kevin O’Hara remain suspended after being found guilty of taunting the midfielder in October.

“Falkirk played Inverness in a game three weeks ago, and Dean had no association with that match, and they were singing songs about him at that match as well,” Kenny Shiels continued.

“And it’s not just a few [supporters]. It’s not nice for a boy that’s mapped out a career in professional football, with his handicap is a fantastic achievement, I feel.

“When the doctor tells him, at the age of 11, that he should be taking up recreational sport as opposed to professional football because they knew that was his dream. So, achieving that under those circumstances is hard enough but then you’ve got the other stuff as well.

“It’s hard for him. But he’s a strong boy and he’ll get through it ok.”


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