Former Rangers and Hibs star Dean Shiels has admitted that the abuse he received left him wanting to quit Scotland – and it was only his Dunfermline contract that kept him from walking away.

The Northern Irishman received horrific abuse from Falkirk fans and players after losing an eye as a child – including fans launching plastic eyeballs onto the pitch.

Derry , United Kingdom - 24 August 2018; Conor Clifford of St Patrick's Athletic in action against Dean Shiels of Derry City during the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup Second Round match between Derry City and St. Patrick's Athletic at Brandywell Stadium, in Derry.

(Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Shield admitted that he likely wouldn’t go back to a Scottish club now and said that it left a “sour taste” in his mouth.

“I actually couldn’t believe what was happening, that people would go to that effort just to abuse you,” Shiels told BBC Scotland.


“I just wanted to rip up my contract and leave but I stayed and saw it out. I couldn’t wait to get out of Scotland, to be honest. Dunfermline is a good club but the abuse I took, it just wasn’t worth the hassle.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 5 : Dean Shiels and Jason Holt of Rangers celebrate as Rangers beat Dumbarton 1-0 to clinch the Scottish Championship title during the match between Glasgow Rangers FC and Dumbarton FC at Ibrox Stadium on April 5, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“I don’t think I would want to go back to Scotland now. I’ve had abuse at nearly every ground I went to. I’ve been abused by parents standing with their children. It left a sour taste in my mouth. I had some great memories in Scotland.”

Falkirk pair Joe McKee and Kevin O’Hara were both suspended in 2017 for abusing Shiels in a Challenge Cup clash

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 28: Dean Shiels of Kilmarnock shoots as John Robertson of Ayr defends during the Scottish Communities Cup Semi Final match between Ayr United and Kilmarnock at Hampden Park on January 28, 2012 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

(Photo by Rob Casey/Getty Images)

The veteran also had a spell at Kilmarnock in his time in Scotland and currently plays for Coleraine in his homeland.

During his time at Rugby Park, Shiels lifted the League Cup and won the Championship, League One and League Two titles with Rangers.

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