A pair of football fans who tangled with former Scotland goalkeeper Rab Douglas in a pitch invasion at Forfar’s Station Park have each been jailed for three months and given five year football banning orders.
The ex-Celtic and Loons stopper had been subjected to sectarian abuse by Airdrie fans in the April 11 title decider at the Angus ground, but what the 44-year-old keeper had considered “banter” turned more sinister as a number of supporters invaded the park.
After Forfar scored a late winner, Ian Bear and Ryan Lawrence were among those who ran onto the park and struggled with Douglas, in what the goalie said was only the second incident of its kind in his 650-game career.
Bear, 36, of George Street, and first offender Lawrence, 19, of West Drive, both of Airdrie had earlier pleaded guilty to breaching the peace on April 11 and were told by Sheriff Gregor Murray at Forfar that there was no alternative to a custodial sentence.
He noted it was Bear’s third football-related offence and said a previous community order had made “no difference” to his offending.
Lawrence’s lawyer described his client as “a sheep” in the incident, having become involved after joining the fans who invaded the pitch.
Sheriff Murray told Lawrence: “There can be no place in society for someone who runs onto a football pitch and attacks a player engaged in his job at that time.”
For more on the court case see tomorrow’s edition of The Courier.