Tayside and Central Scotland

Goalkeeper tells court of Forfar v Airdrie match attack

Rab Douglas Image copyright SNS
Image caption Rab Douglas was spat on during the match

Former Scotland goalkeeper Rab Douglas has told a court that he was subjected to sectarian abuse and spat on during a match.

Mr Douglas was giving evidence in the trial of two men accused of disorder at Forfar Athletic's tie with Airdrieonians in April last year.

Ian Bear and Ryan Lawrence later admitted running onto the pitch and struggling with the Forfar keeper.

The men, both from Airdrie, will be sentenced in August.

Mr Douglas told Forfar Sheriff Court that he received sectarian abuse from supporters in the crowd and was spat on as he took a goal kick towards the end of the game.

Mr Douglas said: "The final whistle had just went and I heard our left back, Iain Campbell, shouting at me and I turned round.

"The first man was about two feet away from me.

"I tried to protect myself at first and we made contact with each other at the same point.

"He punched me in the head and I punched him.

"The second fan approached and we made contact as well."

"I've played 650 games in my career and it's only the second time anything like that has happened to me."

Foul language

Bear, 36, and Lawrence, 19, both pleaded guilty midway through the trial to a breach of the peace.

They admitted running on the field of play, shouting, swearing, using foul language and struggling with Mr Douglas at Station Park, Forfar, on 11 April, 2015.

An allegation that the crime was motivated by sectarianism was removed from the charges.

Sheriff Gregor Murray deferred sentence on Bear and Lawrence until August.

He released them on bail conditions banning them from all football matches meantime.

Sheriff Murray told Bear, who has two previous convictions for football disorder, that he was "in serious trouble".

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