Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...
Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor is on course to be discharged from hospital this week after suffering serious damage to a kidney. The Hull City player is nursing a contusion of the kidney and three broken ribs after colliding with Mo Diame during the Tiger’s 2-1 defeat at West Ham last Wednesday. The 31-year-old was sent-off for his part in the challenge, a decision that has been successfully appealed by his club, but that was the least of his worries as the severity of his injury became clear. McGregor was rushed to Wellington Hospital in north west London and spent five nights under observation in a high dependency unit. An operation cannot repair the damage but it is hoped medication will help the kidney repair itself. The 31-times capped shot-stopper will not play again this season but Hull manager Steve Bruce is just delighted McGregor is making progress. He said: “He’s obviously been in a lot of pain over the last week so things are going as well as can be expected. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed that remains the case.” Meanwhile, his Scotland goalkeeping rival David Marshall insists his own future is the last thing on his mind at relegation-threatened Cardiff City after being linked with a move to Tottenham. The former Celtic shot-stopper has enjoyed an outstanding season for the Bluebirds but that has not been enough to prevent the Welsh outfit from being dragged into the Premier League drop zone. The 29-year-old, who collected his 11th cap when he played the full 90 minutes in last month’s friendly win over Poland, has made the most saves out of any English top-flight keeper this term. Spurs have been credited with a move for Marshall should they lose France captain Hugo Lloris at the end of the campaign. Speaking ahead of Saturday’s crucial visit of Crystal Palace, Marshall who recently signed a contract extension that runs until summer 2018 insists his only concern is helping Cardiff avoid the drop. He said: “At this moment in time, my personal career does not really come into it. I am going to be judged over these last games now. “That’s me, all the other players and the club as a whole. I am desperate right now to try to help keep this club in the Premier League. “I will be concentrating now on keeping Cardiff up.”
Hull have completed the signing of Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor from Besiktas for an undisclosed fee. The 31-year-old has signed a three-year deal at the KC Stadium as the Tigers continue to prepare for their return to the Barclays Premier League. McGregor told hullcityafc.net: "I'm really excited to be here and I'm happy that everything is done now. "I can't wait to get started here. This is a great chance for me to play in the Premier League and I'm looking forward to the season ahead." McGregor, who spent 14 years with Rangers before his move to Turkey last summer, has won 29 caps for his country. He returned in August 2010 from over a year in international exile after he was dropped over a late-night drinking session with team-mate Barry Ferguson. The pair were then caught making v-signs to photographers while on the substitutes’ bench during a game against Iceland. His move to the KC Stadium, which is subject to international clearance, represents the latest step in City boss Steve Bruce’s efforts to strengthen his defence ahead of the top-flight campaign. Bruce has already signed defender Curtis Davies from Birmingham and given new contracts to centre-back James Chester and full-back Liam Rosenior. McGregor fills one of the club’s primary needs for the new season, with the erratic Eldin Jakupovic and the untried Mark Oxley the only senior keepers previously on their books. Hull took Fulham’s David Stockdale on loan for the latter part of last season.
The father of missing Fife man Allan Bryant Jr has received an apology from the BBC after it broadcast an interview with a man who was jailed for claiming to be Allan’s murderer. Allan Bryant Sr criticised the BBC for broadcasting the Troll Hunters programme on BBC Three on Wednesday which featured serial troll Stewart McInroy who previously claimed to have killed Allan Jr. McInroy was handed a 10-month sentence after posting on the Find Allan Bryant Jr Facebook page, claiming to have abducted him, held him hostage and tortured him. But Mr Bryant Sr was angry that the family had no input into the programme and criticised the BBC. However, the programme’s executive producer has now contacted Mr Bryant Sr to apologise. “They totally understand where we’re coming from as a family and they didn’t realise there would be so much to it than there really was,” Mr Bryant said. “This has caused us no end of grief and heartache since the start of the week. But we have to now move on from this it’s as simple as that.”
Pars boss John Potter has urged his faltering team to turn their poor form around before it is too late. Dunfermline were out-classed, out-fought and out-thought at Stair Park on Saturday, losing 5-1. The result sees them slip to sixth in League One, nine points outside the play-offs and 13 off top spot. Potter said: “We have to win games, it is as simple as that. We have not done it the last three or four weeks and we have got to start winning games of football. “We’re not doing that at the moment, so we will need to work hard to make sure we can in the future.” Stranraer took the lead when Grant Gallagher fired through Ryan Scully’s legs after just 10 minutes. The Pars found a leveller when Andy Geggan’s header from 10 yards crept inside the post. Any chance of Potter’s side taking something from the game was dealt a severe blow three minutes later. Gregor Buchanan tangled with Jamie Longworth. After consulting his assistant, referee Kevin Graham sent off the defender for an alleged stamp. Stranraer piled the misery on the visitors as Chris Aitken curled home a delightful effort from the edge of the box two minutes later. Former East End Park favourite Willie Gibson repeated the trick just before half time. Potter said: “The sending off has totally changed the game, it’s killed us. “Gregor is adamant that he could not move and that he had to get out of the way. “The referee said that to the players but the linesman has sent him off. “I don’t know, I’ve not seen it again and I’m just going on Gregor’s word.” It was game over when Scully failed to hold on to Craig Malcolm’s effort and Longworth slid home five minutes after the restart. The Pars did have chances in the second half, with Michael Moffat firing wide and the impressive Lewis Allan striking the post. But it was the hosts who had the last laugh when substitute Jon McShane fired home with seven minutes left to wrap up Stranraer’s biggest ever win over their opponents. Potter said: “Everything about today was horrible. “It’s my worst day, obviously, as a manager and the players will be hurting and it is a hard one to take.”
The officer leading the inquiry into missing Glenrothes man Allan Bryant has said that police have not hit a “dead end”. Chief Inspector Nicola Shepherd said lines of inquiry are continuing to be followed up on the first anniversary of Allan’s disappearance. Despite the largest missing person investigation ever undertaken in Fife, no trace of the 24-year-old has been found since he left Styx nightclub in Caskieberran Road a year ago. On Monday, as Police Scotland released enhanced CCTV footage of Alan’s last known movements, Chief Inspector Shepherd underlined the scale of the task facing her officers. Asked if the investigation had ground to a halt, she replied: “We’re definitely not at a dead end. We’re pursuing a number of lines that we can’t speak openly about. “It’s been absolutely massive from day one. I can honestly say that a Fife force would have struggled to take this forward. “The search has been huge from airborne to water searches. Hundreds of statements have been noted and it’s a major, major inquiry.” Police are hoping that the nightclub footage will help to jog memories of those who may have seen Allan on November 3 2013. Although the footage has been released before, it has been enhanced in the hope that it will be shared on social media, a platform which the Bryant family has successfully utilised to publicise the search for their son. The family also displayed a teddy bear made out of articles of Allan’s clothing, an item they poignantly held on to throughout a press conference at police headquarters in Glenrothes. It came just hours after a candlelit vigil at Caskieberran Road, the location of Styx where Allan was last seen. However, Allan’s father, Allan Snr, once again took the opportunity to criticise the earlier police investigation, before stating that he had every faith in the current set-up to establish what has happened to his son. “The police were a joke since day one,” he said. “But now we have new faces. “I believe they have to go back and re-evaluate everyone who has made a statement. The answer is there in the police files.”
There was no place for former Dundee United duo Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven in Gordon Strachan’s latest Scotland squad. Ex-St Johnstone favourite Stevie May has retained his spot, however. Jordan Rhodes has been recalled for the international double-header at the end of March and Allan McGregor has returned from injury. And there is also a call-up for Bournemouth’s Matt Ritchie. Scotland face Northern Ireland in a friendly on March 25 before a Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar four days later. Strachan’s team currently sit in third place in qualifying group G, three points behind Poland and level with Republic of Ireland and Germany. Full squad - Goalkeepers Craig Gordon (Celtic) David Marshall (Cardiff City) Allan McGregor (Hull City) Defenders Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town) Craig Forsyth (Derby County) Gordon Greer (Brighton & Hove Albion) Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) Russell Martin (Norwich City) Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) Andrew Robertson (Hull City) Steven Whittaker (Norwich City) Midfielders Ikechi Anya (Watford) Barry Bannan (Bolton Wanderers) Scott Brown (Celtic) Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion) James Forrest (Celtic) Shaun Maloney (Chicago Fire) James McArthur (Crystal Palace) James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) Johnny Russell (Derby County) Forwards Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) Steven May (Sheffield Wednesday) Ross McCormack (Fulham) Steven Naismith (Everton) Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers)
A Fife teenager who died suddenly from meningitis at the weekend has been described as “an amazing boy”. In an emotional tribute on her Facebook page, Gregor Smith’s older sister Rachel said the youngster’s smile could light up a whole room. She added: “So sad losing someone, especially a brother who was my best friend. “He was there with me through everything and it was us against the world.” Thirteen-year-old Gregor died in Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, on Sunday evening just seven hours after taking ill. The Kirkcaldy High School pupil had been a fit and happy boy who swam competitively and enjoyed football, table tennis and basketball. Described as extremely popular, his death has rocked the school and left those who knew and loved him in shock. Rachel’s post continued: “Why do bad things happen to the best people? He was only 13. “Rest in peace my little angel. You will always be in my heart, no matter what. I love you forever.” She and her parents Jenny and George are now preparing for Gregor’s funeral next Wednesday. Kirkcaldy High rector Derek Allan said that, while the school was still reeling from the shock, pupils had responded with dignity and maturity. A minute’s silence was held at a special assembly in Gregor’s memory and pupils and staff have been signing a book of condolence. His friends have also expressed a wish to organise events to raise money for research into meningitis. Stating that Gregor would be a huge loss to the school, Mr Allan said: “We put a lot of information out yesterday about meningitis research and his pals were involved in putting the leaflets into envelopes to take home. “We’ve had a lot of good ideas for fundraising and we will probably do something in a few weeks.” Mr Allan described the 13-year-old as a popular and well-liked boy. “He was a sportsman,” he said. “That was his thing. “He played football for the school team and he was a very good table tennis player.” Andy Hopkinson from the Meningits Trust extended his sympathies to the Smith family. “Meningitis can be a cruel disease,” he said. “At the trust we’re here to help everyone who has been affected by meningitis. “If you, or anyone you know, is worried or struggling to come to terms with the after-effects, please do get in touch on our 24-hour freephone nurse-led helpline on 0808 80 10 388.” The ways in which the trust can help are also on its website visit meningitis-trust.org.
An Angus man who strangled his girlfriend and broke her arm is facing jail. Connor McGregor from Carnoustie “viciously” attacked Danielle Lawson in Arbroath’s Wardmill Road following a row. The pair left a bar in the town and were walking when the debate turned violent. McGregor chased after Ms Lawson and repeatedly pushed her, causing her to fall. The 21-year-old then pushed Ms Lawson against metal railings on a bridge and grabbed her by the throat. Dundee Sheriff Court was told McGregor then grabbed her by the throat and strangled her until she couldn’t breathe and began to lose consciousness. She was then thrown to the ground and was later found to have a broken arm. At some point during the struggle two men walked past, with the woman shouting out: “If you don’t help me and take me to safety then I’ll be dead.” However, the pair just walked on leaving her in the hands of the violent thug. During the attack, Miss Lawson called another man who heard her screaming and shouting “he’s hitting me”. Following his conviction, the jury was told McGregor had two previous convictions for assaulting and behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards Ms Lawson. Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson told the jury: “Why did Danielle Lawson scream at those two men who passed her ‘if you don’t help me and take me to safety then I’ll be dead’? “The answer is plain and simple she had just been viciously assaulted by her partner, Connor McGregor. “Assaulted to the extent that he placed his hand over her throat and made her feel ‘woozy’. “An assault that endangered her life.” McGregor, a prisoner at Perth, denied a charge of assault to severe injury and danger of life. However, a jury found him guilty following a two-day trial. Sheriff Tom Hughes deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and McGregor was remanded in custody.
Perthshire is proving to be the perfect destination for tourists after receiving top billing in a list of the UK’s most fashionable rural retreats. Holidaymakers have no need to hop on a flight to Tenerife or a train down south for their Easter holidays. Instead, they can stay local and soak up the delights of Perthshire, after it ranked as one of the UK’s coolest counties. The county scored high for its celebrity connections, including Crieff-born Ewan McGregor, Alan Cumming, born in Aberfeldy, and J K Rowling, who owns Killiechassie country estate on the banks of the River Tay. Also mentioned was the fact that pop star Taylor Swift was reportedly eyeing up the Tower of Lethendy near Meikleour. Star spotting aside, Perthshire was said to have more than its fair share of sweet spots for tourists, and locals, ensuring that it’s not just a cool but a clever place to be. Highly recommended were The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery in Crieff and shows at Perth Concert Hall. With some of the finest acoustics in Europe, forthcoming shows include Lulu, Bryan Ferry, Gregory Porter and Voicemale, a collaboration between 71 primary school boys’ choirs. Historic Scone Palace, which re-opened on Friday offering the crowning place of the King of Scots and stately home grandeur, and Crieff Hydro, with its sprawling 900-acre estate, were also highlighted for making Perthshire a goto destination. The list of the UK’s top rural retreats was compiled by Style magazine.