FP100: No. 14

Markinch Ibrox memorial
Markinch Ibrox memorial

Ibrox Memorial

The tragic events of January 2, 1971, etched themselves deep into the collective consciousness of all Scots.

As the Old Firm’s New Year derby game, attended by over 80,000, drew to a close that Saturday afternoon, departing supporters making their way down Stairway 13 – one of the large flights of exit steps at Ibrox – lost their footing.

In the resulting crush of bodies, 66 people lost their lives and over 200 were injured.

Few places in the country were left unmarked by the catastrophe, but, arguably, the hardest-hit was Markinch.

Five young boys from the town died – Peter Easton (13), Douglas Morrison (14), Ronald Paton (14), Mason Philip (15) and Bryan Todd (14). Four had lived in Park View, and the fifth in George Street.

And they had much else in common – they were school pals at Auchmuty High in Glenrothes, they were fellow Rangers fans, they played in the same football team and they were all members of the church youth club.

The monument to them in Park View is simple. But as a touchstone for a small community’s grief? Few others can be more poignant.