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Soccer yob figurines spark fury.

Toon bosses are considering legal action over hooligan dolls dressed in the Magpies' colours.

A range of figurines of soccer yobs in Premier League kits have sparked outrage among fans and officials.

It includes a made-up firm of thugs called the Newcastle Nest Nigglers, headed up by a character called Ard Man Aaron.

The dolls, called Little Hooliganz, aimed at kids as young as three, are made by London-based firm Blighty Collectables and cost just pounds 4.99.

Today, Newcastle United chiefs said they were considering action. A spokesman said: "Now it has been brought to our attention, it is something we will look at.

"The club is strongly against anything that is in any way linked to hooliganism.

"Newcastle supporters have got a fantastic reputation at home and abroad for being passionate fans but also being very well-behaved and we are proud of that."

The Ard Man Aaron figurine is described as the boss of the Newcastle Nest Nigglers.

The doll has a made up profile, saying he is 13st, with an athletic build.

His most hated firm is described as the Sunderland Skylark Seekers, and his best saying is "Why aye man, haway the lads!".

His favourite weapon is said to be a paintball gun and his top player is Magpies goalkeeper Shay Given.

The Blighty Collectables website says more members of the Nest Nigglers firm will soon be on sale.

They include Whitley Bay Barry, Geordie Jack, Fearless Phil and Argumentative Alistair.

The Premier League is also considering legal action. Its lawyers are assessing whether the manufacturer is likely to have breached clubs' intellectual property rights, a spokesman said.

Chief spokesman Dan Johnson said legal action had previously been taken against firms which used football clubs' colours or logos without permission.

He said: "If they are infringing clubs' intellectual property, then we will take them to court.

"Our lawyers are looking at it and will decide in due course whether to take any action."

Blighty Collectables director Christopher Evans did not wish to comment.

The firm's website denies they are glorifying hooliganism. It reads: "For a while now the problem of football hooliganism in the UK has been on the decline.

"These days the English football fans are among the best behaved fans in the world.

"Yes it is still a problem in many other countries but who knows, maybe the Little Hooliganz collection will play their part in making history of what is now a declining problem here in the UK."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 24, 2006
Words:415
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