Banned Hibs casual is secret Jambos fan 176

 

By Douglas Walker

THE Hibs ‘casual’ banned from every UK football stadium has been unmasked as a HEARTS supporter.

Paul Angus, 20, had a Football Banning Order (FBO) imposed meaning he can’t go to any match in Britain for the next three years.

Police monitored the thug for months before successfully applying to Edinburgh Sheriff Court for the FBO.

And despite being caught fighting with Hibs hooligans, it has emerged Angus, from Edinburgh, does in fact support city rivals Hearts.

It isn’t uncommon for hooligans to join the ranks of opposition gangs with the Easter Road side’s said to be more revered in hooligan circles than their rivals’.

Angus, who works as a lab assistant in Edinburgh University’s chemistry department, has to surrender his passport whenever Hibs play abroad.

However, the current banning order doesn’t prohibit him from travelling abroad if he was to ‘follow’ Hearts instead. 

Should intelligence arise suggesting he was going overseas in such an event to cause trouble, police could then apply for another order requiring him to hand over his passport.

Last night detectives confirmed they knew Angus was a Hearts fan but chose instead to fight with Hibs casuals.

A Lothian and Borders police spokesman said: “A football banning order was granted in respect of Mr Angus as a result of intelligence surrounding his activities with other individuals affiliating themselves with Hibernian FC.

“The conditions of the football banning order are that he is banned from every football ground in the UK for the next three years, and that he is required to surrender his passport whenever Hibernian FC travel abroad. 

“However, there is no requirement for him to surrender his passport should he choose to travel abroad with another club.”

Angus did not contest the FBO which was granted a fortnight ago and made him only the second fan in the Lothians to be punished this way.

Fellow thug, Kevin Watt, was also served with an FBO last summer.  He and Angus were convicted of being involved in a mass brawl at a railway station after Hibs played Falkirk in 2006.  They were fined £225 each.

A source close to Angus said: “He is a Jambo and always has been.  His mates went to the Hibs game so Paul decided to just sit in the pub and catch up with them after the game.

“When he met them later he got caught up in a fight at Falkirk station which ultimately led to his banning order.”

Watt, 19, was given his three-year ban after he was charged with chanting racist abuse during a CIS Cup semi-final at Tynecastle.

Hibs were last night unavailable for comment on the new development.

They previously welcomed the action against Angus and pledged to help root out the ‘small minority’ of hooligans.

A spokeswoman for the club said: “The individual concerned is one of a small minority who continue their attempts to tarnish the otherwise good record of Hibernian supporters.

“The club is fully supportive of the application made by Lothian and Borders Police and welcomes the outcome.”

Police also revealed a number of Hibs and Hearts hooligans have been identified and intelligence is being gathered to serve them with FBOs.

Angus and Hearts were both unavailable for comment.

Hole-in-one for house-hunting golfers 175

By Alexander Lawrie
 
A GOLFER’S dream flat has just gone on the market – complete with a golf course in its back garden.
 
The rare property is set within a 100-acre 18-hole course, has plenty of car parking and boasts its very own 19th hole clubhouse just a short putt away from the front door.
 
The three-bedroom upper villa flat is situated above the Craigentinny Golf Club in Edinburgh and is up for sale at offers over £135,000.
 
Overlooking the 18th green of the course, the house commands stunning views of the nearby Arthur’s Seat.
 
And the new owners won’t have far to go for a quick refreshment as the golf club bar is situated just next door.
 
To the rear of the property is a private courtyard garden along with an informal parking allocation that has been agreed with the owners of the golf club for the residents use.
 
Scott Brown, Estate Agency Partner at Warners, said that the property was a rare find.
 
He said: “You won’t find many flats with a 97-acre back garden like this.
 
“It’s located right above the club shop, overlooking the 18th green, which means you can’t live closer to a golf course than this. 
 
“And for added appeal it has a pub literally on the doorstep – thanks to the local clubhouse as well as plenty of free parking.
 
“But even if you weren’t a golfer, the views are about as spectacular as you could find in Edinburgh.
 
“Although the interior is in need of a complete renovation, there is so much potential here. With the right kind of investment, you could create a perfect three-bedroom home with a golf course for your back garden.”
 
The flat is in need of full modernisation, but it is hoped that its three bedrooms, kitchen/dining room and spacious living room will attract investors interested in renovating it into the perfect golfer’s haven.

Dramatic rescue for horse who fell head over hooves 174

By Martin Couper

A HORSE sparked a massive rescue operation after falling into six-foot deep septic tank.

An incredible 19 firemen were sent to retrieve Guinness after the animal took the night-MARE tumble on Wednesday evening.

The 17-year-old horse had been walking around its field at Sunnyside Farm in the Borders when a concrete slab gave way plunging him into the cavern below.

Vets who arrived on the scene confirmed that the Guinness- a former international vaulting horse- had not suffered any serious injuries.

However, Andrew Morton, farmer at the Sunnyside Farm still has some concerns over the horse’s health following what he called a “freak accident.”

He said: “His legs are pretty badly swollen but we are hoping he’ll be alright.

“We are worried about the cuts on his legs because he had been in raw sewage and they could get infected.

“I thought when I saw him in there that he had broken his back, but it’s not broken and none of his legs are broken.

“He’s very stiff and sore. It’s impossible to make a final assessment and is difficult to say if he will make a full recovery.

“He was supposed to work on Monday, but he won’t be doing that.”

Guinness is used at the Riding for Disabled centre which is situated on Sunnyside Farm, after being loaned to the company from a third party.

And Riding for Disabled must now foot the cost of the horse’s vet bill because the horse was not insured.

Andrew said: “Riding for the Disabled don’t have insurance on the horse so they will have to pay for his treatment.

“They won’t be charged for the firemen coming out, but there were two vets who were there for two hours and he was given drugs. Another vet is coming back to look at him today.”

The trouble-stricken horse was found by French student Fanny Terrier, 19, while she was working on the farm.

And Andrew was quick to praise Fanny’s alertness which ensured Guinness was not in the hole for long.

He said: “Fanny was working on the farm, driving oats up the field and heard a crack when she drove by. On the way back she saw the horse in the hole and contacted me immediately.

“He’d only been in the hole for five minutes before I got there.”

Firemen worked quickly to get the horse out of the pit, but had to work cautiously given the size of the animal.

He had to be harnessed and pulled from the tank with ropes.

Andrew said: “We had to cut away bits of concrete and metal to get in at him.

“The firemen did well rescuing him and hosing him down, because he was stinking.”

Guinness is now recovering at a stable on the farm while they continue to assess his health.

A spokesperson from Lothian Fire Service said: “We received a call at 17.44 last night about a horse that had fallen into a septic tank.

“The horse received cuts and grazes and will be monitored.”

Olympic legends return to Edinburgh 173

By Michael MacLeod

SCOTLAND’S triple gold medallist Chris Hoy says his childhood heroes were Hearts players.

The Edinburgh cyclist says he wanted to play football for the Jambos as a youngster, but admits he’s “not a true fan anymore.”

Speaking at the homecoming parade at Edinburgh Castle, Hoy said he felt like a “Hollywood star” after being greeted with a hero’s welcome alongside Scottish silver medallists Katherine Grainger, Ross Edgar and David Florence.

An estimated 50,000 people packed the Royal Mile as the Olympians showed off their medals from an open top bus.

Amid the Olympic hysteria, hero Hoy told of who he looked up to as a child.

He said: “I was a huge Hearts fan. My heroes were John Robertson, John Colquhoun and Gary McKay.

“But I wouldn’t say I’m a true fan anymore. It’s the guys that go to the matches every week who are the true fans.

“I used to go to Tynecastle as a youngster and would love to go back sometime, if it ever calms down.”

But returning to normal life won’t be easy for Scotland’s newest superstar, who admitted he was “overwhelmed by the public response.”

He said: “For a minority sports person to attract this type of attention is really bizarre.

“It’s a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

“I can’t believe this is all for me and the team – look at it, it’s like something you would see for a Hollywood star.”

Pupils from Hoy’s former school, George Watson’s College were among those lining the streets, keen to catch of glimpse of the first GB athlete in 100 years to win three gold medals in the same games.

Even Hoy’s teammate Ross Edgar said he still couldn’t believe Hoy’s achievements.

He said: “It’s the biggest thing that’s ever happened in my life.

“To be in the same room, never mind the same track, as Chris is still an amazing thing in itself.

“I’m just in shock. It’s slowly sinking in that we got a one-two at the Olympics.”

After picking up her third silver medal in as many Olympic Games, Glasgow rower Katherine Grainger refused to rule out going for gold in London 2012.

She said: “It’s only two days since Beijing, so it’s quite early to make predictions.

“But 2012 is a draw for me and of course I want to be part of that in some way.

“However I’m not going to make big statements like ‘shoot me if I get near a boat!'”

Canoeist David Florence told of how he’d trained for a decade to get his silver medal.

He said: “I remember being on the starting line thinking ‘I actually feel pretty good.’

“Fortunately the run went really well and when I got to the bottom that was when I felt ten years of pressure off my back.”

The four medallists were joined at the Castle by deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
 
She described Hoy as “The King of Scotland.”

She said: “I drove into Edinburgh this morning to see that huge banner of Chris on Lothian Road, with the words ‘King of Scotland’ above his head.

“I don’t think there is anyone who would disagree with that.

“You are without doubt the best cyclist Scotland and Britain has ever produced.”

Looking Hoy in the eye, she added: “Thank you for entertaining us and thank you for inspiring us.”

Also out in force were campaigners calling for Meadowbank velodrome – where Hoy trained – to be saved.

There are fears that Hoy’s success in Beijing may never be recreated for Scottish cyclists if plans to demolish Edinburgh’s velodrome are carried out.

Campaigner Kevin Conner carried a huge banner the length of the Royal Mile in front of the Olympians’ open-top bus.

The banner read: “Don’t demolish Meadowbank velodrome.”

He said: “We’re here to show support Chris Hoy’s comments about how ridiculous this plan is to scrap the velodrome.

“Glasgow is getting a new one for 2012 and that’s great for them, but Edinburgh produced Chris Hoy and the council want to knock down the very birthplace of his success.

“All they have said is that they will build a cycling facility, but until they specify whether there will be a velodrome, we hope Chris will continue to support our campaign.”

JK Rowling scared to google Harry Potter 172

By Douglas Walker

JK Rowling has revealed she resisted temptation and didn’t search ‘Harry Potter’ online until five years after the release of the first book.

The multi-millionaire author says she was ‘utterly unprepared’ for what she encountered and spent hours reading through the numerous websites dedicated to her phenomenal creation.

Miss Rowling’s comments were made in the foreword of a new book which she says has helped her imagine what is must be like to be an ordinary fan.

The publication entitled Harry, A History has been written by Melissa Anelli, who runs the ‘Leaky Cauldron’ website.

Miss Rowling, 43, writes: “Not until sometime in 2002 did I finally crack, and do the thing that people assumed I did daily. I Googled Harry Potter.

“I knew, of course, that there were fan sites out there. My postbag was full of mentions of them, my readers assuming that I was au fait with what was happening online.

“My PA, Fiddy, had had contact with a few of the webmasters. But I was still utterly unprepared what I found during that first, mammoth trawling session.

“I had already heard of ‘The Leaky Cauldron’; it was one of the biggest and most popular Harry Potter sites on the net, and I had been told about a couple of great things they had done.

“But I had never seen it for myself, never realised exactly what went on there. I sat and read editorials, predictions, theories that ranged from strange to wild to perfectly accurate. I was, frankly, stunned – and I remain stunned.”

The Edinburgh-based writer says that after reading the book, ‘a great chunk’ of her life has now been explained.

She wrote: “At long last I understand what was going on while I was holed up writing, trying to filter my exposure to Potter-hysteria.

“A great chunk of my own life has been explained to me. Melissa has filled in an enormous number of blanks. Reading the book you now have in your hands has been an astonishing experience for me.

“It is as though I have, at last, achieved the ambition I held for years: to go along to a bookshop at midnight on Harry Potter publication night, in disguise, and simply watch and listen.”

The Harry Potter book series has sold 375m copies worldwide and has also spawned five blockbuster films with the sixth instalment, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, due out next year.

Ms Rowling has amassed a personal fortune of an estimated £560m making her richer than the Queen.

Brave penisoner fights off thief for the second time 171

By Michael MacLeod

A PLUCKY pensioner fought off and chased a thief who stole money from her theatre – for the second time.

When a “skinny” robber burst into Queens Hall on Monday morning, cloakroom supervisor Vera Alexander, 81, thought she was having déjà vu.

He told her the exact same story he’d tried during last year’s Edinburgh festival in a bid to snatch cash from the till.

He shoved tiny Vera against the wall and pocketed a handful of notes.

But brave the brave pensioner shouted, “you’re not having that,” and snatched the money back off him by putting her hand into his shirt.

Only slightly shaken by the ordeal, she spoke  at her home in Edinburgh’s Wardie Avenue of how she was determined to return to work later that night.

She said: “I was angry to be in that situation and recognised him from last year when he tried the same trick.

“He said he wanted to buy tickets for his cousin so I blocked his way but he pushed me and hid the notes in his shirt.

“I shouted “you’re not having that” and stuffed my hand into his shirt to get them back and he ran off.

“It was quite a farce.”

Thanks to her intervention, the Irvine Arditti and Rudiger Lotter violin show continued without any of the audience knowing about the raid.

Vera went home to brush herself down, then returned to her evening job at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre.

A well-known face in the capital’s theatres for the past 60 years, she says it was her love for the Queens Hall that spurred her to fight back.

She added: “It was just my instinct because this was money belonging to the Queen’s Hall.

“I’ve worked for the hall for 29 years and I love it and would have hated to see it robbed.

“I was very surprised to see the same thief again, but my job is to be responsible for that money, so I tried to get it back.”

Had she not been so vigilant, bosses at the Queens Hall say the violin show that was on at the time could have been interrupted.

Adrian Harris, chief executive said: “Vera is well known and loved in Edinburgh’s theatres and we have no qualms employing someone of her age.

“The concert was part of the Edinburgh International Festival, and we think the robber was waiting outside for a quiet moment to pounce.

“But Vera has a great love for the theatre and stuck up for herself to the best of her abilities, as well as give a good description to police, which we really do thank her for.”

Police praised Vera’s “very brave” efforts and appealed for witnesses.

The thief was last seen heading off South Clerk Street towards Montague Street.

He was described as having an Edinburgh accent, skinny, white, with scruffy blonde hair, between 25 and 30-years-old, around 5ft 8”, wearing a long-sleeved blue shirt and dark trousers, carrying a red plastic bag.

A police spokeswoman said: “This woman has acted very bravely in trying to stop the thief getting away with any money.

“Although she was not hurt, the ordeal has left her understandably shaken.

“We would appeal for anyone who was in the area at the time, and who saw what happened, to contact police.”

Tavish Scott to lead Lib Dems 170

By Karrie Gillett

TAVISH Scott has been appointed as the new leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

The MSP for Shetland secured 59 per cent of the vote – putting him well ahead of his political heavyweight rivals Ross Finnie and Mike Rumbles.

Scott – who was deputy leader of the party – takes up the leadership role left empty when Nicol Stephen quit in July citing family reasons. 

And the result –announced at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium in front of politicians and party activists – was hailed by Scott as the “gold medal of the Liberal Democrats Olympics”.

Scott was comfortably the winner of the three-horse race with West of Scotland MSP Ross Finnie capturing 23.1 per cent of the vote.

And Mike Rumbles, MSP for Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, achieved 17.9 per cent.

Tavish Scott emerged early on as favourite in the contest for the top job and is no stranger to political life in Scotland.

He served as a deputy minister in the first Holyrood administration and famously quit in protest over fishing policy.

But today, the 42-year-old said he was “very clear” on the challenges that lay ahead as leader and the opportunities it would bring.

And one of Scott’s first duties as an opposition party leader was to deliver an attack on Alex Salmond’s SNP government.

Mr Scott said: “The tectonic plagues of Scottish politics are shifting and when they stop I am determined that the Lib Dems will be a dominant presence on the political landscape.

“After less than 18 months in government, the SNP is riding high in the polls. They are popular – but here is my prediction – by 2010 they will not be.

“We can already see the underlying weakness that will undo Alex Salmond.

“What looks confident, sure-footed and wily today will be seen as arrogant, misguided and politically dishonest tomorrow.

“Spin is the hallmark of this government but spin has a shelf life.”

The outcome of the leadership race will now set the direction of the party and Scott insisted he was the man to take the Lib Dems to the next level.

He said: “I am delighted to be elected leader of my party. I want to make sure that the Liberal Democrats have real ideas and solutions to the needs of everybody in Scotland.

“I am very determined that we get outside the comfort zone of the Holyrood bubble and we talk about what people are feeling at this time with the rising prices of food, fuel and energy.”

“I want to make sure that we as a party have some real, meaningful answers to that.”

The new Lib Dem leader also thanked the outgoing Nicol Stephen, who was present as the result was announced, for his commitment and hard work.

One of the first official duties as party leader will be greeting Scotland’s Olympic heroes when they return to Edinburgh tomorrow.

He said: “I very much look forward to being part of the crowd on Edinburgh Royal Mike to cheer on our Olympians now that they are back home in Scotland.

“It is a great source of pride to al lof us that they have done so well and I can’t wait to see more Scots competing at that level.

“It’s great for our country and for the long term beneft of our young people as well.”

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have also selected Harry Wills as their candidate for the Glenrothes by-election on the Prime Minister’s political doorstep.

No date has been set for the by-election caused by the death of Labour MP John MacDougall in the next constituency to Gordon Brown’s Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath seat.