McCrae’s Battalion Trust has issued a statement in response to the emergence of a group of men wearing Tommy Robinson masks in front of a McCrae’s Battalion Hearts flag.
The right-wing activist shared the picture to his more than 100,000 followers on Instagram with the message: “You will be seeing me at a hearts game soon.”
The photo was believed to be have taken at a charity event for autism which raised thousands for charity in Edinburgh recently.
A video that Robinson, real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also shared showed the men chanting in front of the flag.
Hearts are closely connected with the McCrae’s Battalion, the name given to the 16th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Scots during the First World War. Sixteen Hearts players and hundreds of the club’s fans were among its ranks.
The trust released a statement stating that it has no association to any political groups and that the battalion embraced “all religions”.
It read: “McCrae’s Battalion Trust wishes to emphasise in the strongest possible terms that we, McCrae’s Battalion Trust, have no association whatsoever with any and all groups with a political agenda; McCrae’s Battalion Trust has no political affiliation or agenda.
“Since the inauguration of the memorial cairn in the Somme village of Contalmaison in 2004, thousands of people have made the pilgrimage to commemorate the sacrifice of all who served. McCrae’s was Scotland’s sporting battalion. They represented their mother country with courage and pride, and it is our opinion that everyone should return that pride and resist at every opportunity any attempt to politicise or desecrate their memory.
“The battalion was a broad church, embracing all religions, numerous nationalities and the widest possible variety of occupations. They were all pals together and that is not the least of their enduring legacies.”
Robinson’s pledge to come to a Hearts game provoked fierce debate with some fans welcoming him to Tynecastle, while others condemned any association with the co-founder of the English Defence League.
The 35-year-old, a political activist and journalist for Rebel Media, has received multiple criminal convictions, including fraud and assault,
• READ MORE: Tommy Robinson’s previous with British football fans
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