We thought it’d be worth making a timeline of Hampden on Saturday for posterity.
Because a lot of nonsense is being talked on all sides. This is the reality.
The footage above is an unedited extract of the live coverage on BBC1. As such it’s interrupted by some interviews with the Hibs manager and players, so we don’t get to see everything that happens on the pitch, but it’s still a useful guide to events overall and the timescale they unfolded in.
0m 18s: first Hibs fans seen entering pitch from East stand. (The camera positions at Hampden are in the main South stand.) Stewards are seen trying to hold back the tide but it’s an impossible task and they quickly get out of the way to avoid crushes and injuries as the fans pour forward.
0m 38s: what looks like a Hibs fan shakes hands with “Rangers” striker Kenny Miller. From Miller’s facial expression and body language there’s no sign of hostility.
0m 50s: most of the Ibrox side’s players can be seen leaving the pitch.
0m 57s: one unidentified and dazed-looking “Rangers” player (to the left in the picture below) is helped towards the tunnel by what appear to be two club staff wearing black, as Hibs manager Alan Stubbs urges celebrating fans to get off the pitch.
1m 15s: “Rangers” goalkeeper Wes Foderingham, the furthest player from the tunnel when the final whistle blew, exits via the technical area after being subjected to some jostling from Hibs fans. (Having earlier been barged more roughly in the six-yard area.)
Foderingham, in red, can be seen just left of bottom centre in the pic above. At this point, as far as we can ascertain, all players have left the field, apart from one Hibs player who is seen at the junction of the byline and halfway line at 1m 41s. (Lower left quadrant in shot below, between the two dotted technical areas. Click pic to enlarge.)
At precisely the moment Foderingham disappears from view the BBC commentator notes that some “Rangers” fans have begun to invade the pitch too. This seems to contradict last night’s statement from the club that their supporters only came onto the field to protect their players from attack. By the time Foderingham comes off all their players were safely inside.
3m 5s: more or less the maximum extent of the invasion. The Hibs half of the pitch is full of supporters, and hundreds of fans of both sides are in the “Rangers” half too, with a few visible small scuffles taking place.
3m 30s: some fans are still entering the pitch from the stands at the Hibs end. Police and steward presence on the pitch is still fairly minimal.
4m 0s: police horses arrive from the West stand end.
Two thinly-spread lines of police have already more or less entirely separated the two opposing sets of fans and begun to shepherd them back to their respective stands.
4m 50s: there’s now a large space of perhaps 20 yards between the two main groups of supporters. One pocket of Hibs fans is still inside the “Rangers” half and appears to be goading the remaining fans in the North stand, to which the “Rangers” fans in the stadium respond with a couple of very loud choruses of “The Billy Boys”.
Less than five minutes after the first fans crossed the hoardings and barely two minutes after the appearance of police in force, the violent disorder – such as it was – is effectively over. All that remains is to get everyone back off the turf.
6m 15s: the last Hibs player still pitchside, Jason Cummings, is taken inside and the tunnel doors closed.
By now the police have calmed the shouting match at the opposite side of the field.
7m 20s: the “Rangers” side of the pitch has been fully cleared, the West stand is all but empty and the mass of Hibs fans starts being ushered back into their seats.
8m 5s: the atmosphere is now deemed to be calm enough for the Hibs players to come back out into the technical area.
11m 16s: the evacuation progresses slowly and steadily, the police largely allowing the fans to move at their own pace. There are still perhaps 2000-3000 on the pitch.
13m 11s: two minutes later the last couple of hundred stragglers are making their way off while the police line watches from a distance.
16m 11s: after three more minutes the pitch is totally clear and the final few fans on the running track climb across the hoardings and into the East stand.
And that’s that.