Tommy Robinson told by Hearts fans and campaigners to stay away
OUTRAGED fans and campaigners have sent a firm message to far-right activist Tommy Robinson to stay away from Tynecastle.
The English Defence League co-founder has vowed to come to a game after a group posed for a photo wearing masks of his face.
Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, posted a mocked-up photo online of himself wearing a Hearts strip with the caption “coming soon.”
Writing in today’s Evening News, Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South and former Foundation of Hearts chairman, says the 35-year-old should stay away.
“It’s sickening to see him post a mocked-up photo wearing the strip worn by my childhood heroes John Robertson, Craig Levein and Gary Mackay. Yaxley-Lennon couldn’t lace their boots,” he writes.
“The overwhelming majority of supporters are disgusted by any association with him. There was widespread revulsion when he posted a photo online of men wearing masks standing in front of a flag commemorating McCrae’s Battalion.”
Anti-racist campaigners also waded in after Mr Robinson posted online: “You will be seeing me at a hearts game soon.”
John McFadden, chair of United Against Fascism Scotland, said: “It’s obviously nauseating that he’s trying to associate himself with the working classes.”
“It should be repugnant to all Hearts fans who know anything about the history of their club, for them to associate themselves with him,” he added, referring to McCrae’s Battalion.
And of the club’s link with charity Save the Children, he added: “Hearts is clearly a club that takes its obligations seriously.
“They want to be seen as an international, outward looking club and not to be associated with the far right.”
Lifelong Jambo and owner of Dickens Lounge Bar on Dalry Road, Callum Anderson, 51, said politics has no place in football.
“Everybody, and I mean everybody, is entitled to their politics and their religion but in the pub trade they’re the two things you ask people not to discuss - or they’re barred.”
A group of men were pictured wearing masks of Mr Robinson’s face in front of a McCrae’s Battalion Hearts flag at an event in Edinburgh to raise money for an autism charity.
Mr Robinson, a political activist and journalist for Rebel Media, has received multiple criminal convictions, including for fraud and assault.
Jack Alexander, the author of McCrae’s Battalion: The Story of the 16th Royal Scots, expressed his ire at the Battalion being linked to Mr Robinson.
“I have spent many years studying the battalion and I was privileged to know many of the original members, and many more of their descendants,” Mr Alexander wrote in the Evening News.
“They would be saddened by today’s developments and by the recent upsurge in offensive behaviour around Tynecastle and beyond.”