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Markinch Five Remembered

FIVE victims of the Ibrox Disaster were remembered at the weekend as a restored memorial stone dedicated in their names was unveiled in their home town.

Peter Easton (13), Bryan Todd, Ronald Paton, Mason Philip (all 14) and Douglas Morrison (15) travelled as a group from Markinch in Fife to the Rangers v Celtic game on January 2, 1971.

The buckled barriers on Stairway 13They tragically never made it home as they were amongst the 66 who perished so needlessly when Stairway 13 collapsed in the closing minutes of the 1-1 draw.

Their memorial stone at Park View in Markinch was established some time ago but it had fallen into disrepair.

However an online fundraising campaign by Light Blues fans was enough to have it renovated over the summer.

Cash generated by the appeal also led to a bench bearing their names being gifted to Markinch Parish Church in June.

Five rowan trees gifted by Erskine House – each one representing one of the teenagers – have been planted around the stone.

Former Gers player Dave Smith played that day and he joined his ex-team-mate Willie Johnston at a brief ceremony conducted by Reverend Alex Parker yesterday.

Relatives of the boys were there too along with members of the local community, the Rangers Supporters Memorial Committee, club staff and other supporters clubs.

Also present were children from nearby Auchmuty High School in Glenrothes, where the friends were all pupils.

Ronald Paton’s twin brother Iain, who had stayed at home on the day of the match, said: “We couldn’t have asked for anything more.

“We had a race night to raise funds and about five ex-players were there who played that day. They’ve been in contact with us all the time. It was good to see so many people here as well.”

Smith told The Courier: “We’re here to represent the club and represent the players who played that day.

“If you ask any of the players, they would feel exactly the same that you can never forget. Forty years ago just seems like yesterday.”

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