The chief executive of Celtic football club has thanked fans for their outpouring of support and good wishes after he and his family were forced to flee their home in Thorntonhall, south Lanarkshire, following an arson attack.
Police Scotland are treating the fire as deliberate after CCTV showed a man pouring an accelerant on three vehicles at about 1am on Wednesday, after which the blaze spread to the detached two-storey property.
While no one was injured, it has been reported that Peter Lawwell’s daughter and four-month-old granddaughter were inside accommodation above the garage when the fire broke out.
In a statement released by the club on Thursday afternoon, Lawwell said: “This has been a devastating attack on myself and my family, the effects of which will stay with us all for a long time.
“I am, of course, extremely relieved that everyone is safe. I would like to thank my wife and my family for their support and for the strength and courage they have shown during such a difficult time.
“Naturally my family has been deeply affected by these events. This is a hugely challenging time but we will make sure we stay strong and we will get through this together.”
Lawwell thanked the fire service and Police Scotland for their support and professionalism, as well as the Celtic board and staff.
He added: “As a family, we have received literally thousands of messages of support from Celtic fans and from people across the wider global football family. This has provided us with great comfort and we all offer our heartfelt thanks for the concern and support which people have shown.”
Lawwell echoed the police’s call for witnesses, asking anyone with information to come forward.
On Wednesday, police released a description of a male suspect who is about 5ft 10ins and of slim build. He was wearing black jogging bottoms, a black hooded jumper with the hood up, black trainers and a face mask. A silver or grey hatchback car was seen near the house at the time of the fire.
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