Jail for fans who attacked Rab Douglas

Rab Douglas for Forfar

Rab Douglas for Forfar

Two men who ran on to the pitch and brawled with former Scotland goalkeeper Rab Douglas at the full-time whistle of an SPFL match were today (Thursday) jailed and handed lengthy stadium bans.

Douglas earlier told a court how he was subjected to vile abuse before fans ran on the pitch and attacked him - prompting him to punch one of them to protect himself.

Two men, Ian Bear - who was previously convicted of being part of a mob who made Nazi salutes and challenged other fans to fight - and Ryan Lawrence, admitted running on the park and brawling with Douglas.

Douglas was playing for Forfar Athletic against Airdrieonians when the Loons scored a late winner that ensured the visitors would not get promotion.

The 19-times capped goalie said he had expected “banter” from fans - but that a small group of Airdrie supporters had turned nasty during the match.

Forfar Sheriff Court was shown footage of the end of the game - with home fans celebrating as the referee blows for full-time, before the camera pans back to the rammy kicking off in Douglas’ goalmouth.

Two men are seen rushing on to the park and launching an attack on Douglas, who told how he had to punch both in the face to defend himself.

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.

“I didn’t know if they had weapons - knives or bottles - or anything on them.

“My teammates rushed over and grabbed me and got me away.”

Bear, 36, of George Street, Airdrie, and Lawrence, 19, of West Drive, Airdrie, both pleaded guilty to one charge each midway through their trial.

They admitted committing a breach of the peace by running on the field of play, shouting, swearing, using foul language and struggling with Rab Douglas at Station Park, Forfar, on April 11, 2015.

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

Douglas Allsop, 40, of Albert Place, Airdrie, Kenneth Murray, 30, of Canal Place, Aberdeen, had their not guilty pleas accepted and walked free.

Sheriff Gregor Murray sentenced both men to three months imprisonment.

He also imposed a five-year football banning order on the pair.