A CELTIC fan is in a serious condition in hospital after clashes between football supporters at a book launch by ex-English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson in Sunderland.

Robinson had earlier posted an online video of himself wearing a Rangers football shirt before Saturday’s match taunting Celtic fans on Twitter and calling them “muppets” before the game. In response, Celtic fans gathered outside an off-licence in the Hendon area of the city where Robinson was signing books. The shop was also damaged after clashes broke out between rival fans.

Police, some armed, were forced to intervene as fighting broke out in the city centre.

Bottles were thrown and 19 arrests were made.

The Celtic fan suffered a serious head injury and was later taken to hospital. Rumours circulated online that Robinson had been injured after Northumbria Police put out a statement saying the off-licence had been attacked – and a man was in hospital with a “head injury”. However, Robinson quashed rumours, tweeting a video of the injured fan wearing a Celtic top, whose bloody head appeared to have been put on a Union Jack pillow.

Robinson was heard to ask repeatedly in the video, “How’s your mate” and accuse Celtic fans of “attacking families” and being “armed with flares, bricks and missiles”.

He also claimed the man on the ground had been “put to sleep” on a Union Jack pillow after the incident and alleged that the man had used his belt as a weapon. Northumbria Police confirmed both Celtic and Sunderland fans had been involved in the clashes.

A spokesman said: “Police and paramedics attended the scene after damage was caused to the off-licence and allegations of assault were reported. A man has been taken to hospital with a head injury. Police are reminding all Sunderland and Celtic fans that any form of disorder, violence or any behaviour that endangers the public will not be tolerated and police action will be taken.”

Inquiries are ongoing to determine the circumstances around the incident, he added.

Robinson later tweeted after the events: “After a stressful day I am getting an early night.”