Friday, October 27, 2006

Goalpost thief

A man has been fined £150 for stealing the goalposts from Britain's least successful football league club. Mark Rice, 37, of Ladysmill Road, Falkirk, admitted carrying off both sets of metal posts from East Stirlingshire's ground near Falkirk.

The club have come bottom of Scotland's Scottish Third Division for the past four seasons, conceding 166 home goals.

But since the raid in August, home form has at least improved - the club are currently second bottom of the league.

Prosecutor Eilidh Smith said a woman living near the ground phoned police after seeing unemployed Rice tying them on the roof of his car in August. Ms Smith said: "He told officers he had found them lying on a scrapheap."

Rice's lawyer, Lynsey Maclean, said he appeared to have given East Stirlingshire a bit of a boost.

She said: "Since the posts were stolen they've started moving up the league."

East Stirlingshire are currently second bottom of the Scottish Third Division, on 10 points.

Ms Maclean added: "The posts were lying on the ground - he didn't have to dig them up."

Rice had intended to sell the posts for scrap. Leaving court, he refused to comment on his crime. But he did say: "Don't say I'm an East Stirlingshire supporter, because I'm not."

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