Abuse of players by crowd sickens Larsson

Henrik Larsson will be happy to leave behind a side of Scottish football he says has sickened him. The Celtic striker will bring the curtain down on his seven-year Parkhead career with a farewell match against Seville on 25 May. Larsson will be sad to leave but he has expressed his relief at not having to witness the abuse that is hurled at his team-mates - and in particular Neil Lennon - at grounds around Scotland.

"It's scary to see," he said. "We are only footballers. We play football but other than that we are just the same as everyone else. I don't understand it. You don't know the guy. Why would you hate somebody you don't know? The hatred you encounter in some of the grounds that you go to is just frightening especially when you see a grown man standing next to a kid and throwing verbal abuse at you.

"It does sicken me. Everyone wants to stamp that out in football but when you have kids watching that kind of thing then it will always be there."

The Celtic goalkeeper, Rob Douglas, will attempt to cure a long-standing thigh injury with an operation during the summer. The Scotland No 1 has been feeling pain during and after matches and after seeking advice from an English-based consultant he has agreed to have surgery.

But Douglas still hopes to play in the Scottish Cup final as the operation will not go ahead until after the end-of-season tie with Dunfermline at Hampden Park.

The Celtic manager, Martin O'Neill, has already ruled Wales striker John Hartson out of a dramatic return for the 22 May showdown despite him making a speedy recovery from a back operation.

But O'Neill's injury list is clearing up ahead of the short trip across town to the national stadium.

Stilian Petrov, Jackie McNamara and Joos Valgaeren are back in training after missing the league defeat against Dunfermline, and Bobo Balde and Didier Agathe could also come into contention for Saturday's final Old Firm game of the season at Parkhead.

John Kennedy and Shaun Maloney will not play again for some time but the latter hopes to travel to America with the rest of the first-team squad for their pre-season tour.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor