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EVIL!; The rude the bad and the ugly... return of the scum that tried to shame all of Scotland.

The soccer scum who tried to disgrace Scotland slunk back home yesterday hiding their faces in shame.

The bully boy thugs who boasted of taking on the world at soccer violence didn't have the guts to reveal their identities as they arrived at Glasgow Airport yesterday afternoon.

But they immediately met the full force of derision from holidaymakers who recognised the cowards who had tried to wreck the Tartan Army's good name.

Tourists booed and jeered the "invisible man" lookalikes as they arrived on their flight from Salou.

The International Arrivals area rang to shout of "You're all a bloody disgrace to Scotland" and "You should all get lifted".

But 12 of the yobs skipped the flight and last night there were fears that they may try and organise a battle before Scotland's game with Morocco in St Etienne on Tuesday.

Among the 42 soccer hooligans who did make it back - after they were herded to the Spanish airport by armed police - there was the odd spark of defiance. Some swore and cursed at reporters and threw Nazi salutes.Others among the so-called "hard men" simply whimpered: "We did nothing wrong".

It was thanks to the Sunday Mail that police first learned that Scots thugs were planning trouble.

We revealed how Ian Smith, 23, set up a web site on the Internet where football hooligans from across Europe could plot violence at the World Cup.

Smith, from Linlithgow was sacked by his bosses at Caledonian University.

Yesterday, the yobs were corralled at Reus Airport, Tarragona, by baton- wielding police. It followed a drunken disturbance.

For security reasons, the thugs were all kept in one section on the plane.

One passenger from Whitburn, West Lothian, came off the plane with her 18- month-old baby and said:" I was terrified to get on the flight. They all seemed drunk."

Another woman, from Beith, Ayrshire who had been staying in the same hotel as the thugs said they drank heavily and police were called one night.

The hooligans were blamed for trouble in the resort they flew to last weekend to use a "back door" route into France for pre- arranged fights with other soccer casuals.

They were caught before they could besmirch the Tartan Army by causing trouble at Scotland games. The gang were thwarted by a joint security operation involving French, Spanish and Scottish cops. Their coach was stopped at the French border as it headed to Bordeaux.

The gang were held at a school hall, allowed to watch the game on TV, then escorted back to Spain by a police convoy.

The yobs, an alliance of alleged Rangers, Hearts, Hibs, and Aberdeen fans had booked a package trip.

Ringleader Alexander Chugg, 26, a convicted Glasgow drugs dealer who claims to be a part-time SFA coach, admitted they planned to spread terror.

He has served a jail term for causing trouble outside football grounds in Britain.

Other known thugs in the party identified by police include Hibs casual James McLeod and Rangers casual David Carrick of Kirkintilloch near Glasgow.

Three of their party - William Baxter, Raymond McNulty and George Waddell - spent two nights in a Spanish jail over claims they had sparked a riot in the resort of Salou.

They were freed from a Spanish court yesterday but missed their flight home.

Superintendent Kenny Scott - the Scottish police liaison officer in Paris for the World Cup - yesterday said he was delighted that trouble had been averted.

He added: "Thankfully this tiny hooligan minority did not manage to stain the name of Scottish football.
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Author:Nairn, John; Silvester, Norman
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 21, 1998
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