London Hearts Supporters Club

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Hearts ban for bigots

THREE Hearts supporters have been banned from Tynecastle indefinitely in the latest purge to beat the bigots.

It comes as Tom Purdie, the club’s security chief, said he feared the British National Party may be responsible for an increase in sectarian incidents.

Police are also investigating claims that a hooligan element of Chelsea fans are also seeking to recruit in Gorgie.

A total of eight supporters have had their season tickets withdrawn since Hearts chiefs vowed to take action against those who tarnished the club’s image.

Last year, a section of fans chanted sectarian abuse at Celtic’s Neil Lennon during the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Parkhead.

And a small group were heard singing loyalist songs on Hearts’ pre-season tour to Holland and Belgium.

"We have shown that we are not going to tolerate this sort of behaviour at all," said club spokesman Douglas Dalgleish.

The latest move to crack down on the bigots has resulted in one supporter being banned from the ground for wearing Rangers colours to the fixture against Celtic in November.

Along with the others, he was accused of being guilty of aggressive and provocative behaviour.

Union Jack flags have been confiscated along with Irish Tri-colours brought by visiting Celtic and Hibs fans.

"These people are not Hearts supporters because they never turn up at away matches, except very occasionally at Celtic Park, or any other games at Tynecastle," said Hearts security officer Tom Purdie.

"I don’t know for sure if they are connected to the BNP but certainly they did have a meeting place at Tynecastle at one time. What I do know is that they are trying to use Hearts and football as a vehicle for behaviour we simply will not tolerate at this club."

They seem to appear only when Hibs and Celtic are at our ground and we are doing all we can, with closed-circuit television, stewarding and policing, to root them out from the area in the enclosure in front of our Main Stand.

"We had hoped that the kind of bigoted activity was a thing of the past but, sadly, that does not appear to be the case.

"Three regular fans, who were guilt of foul language and aggressive behaviour, have been banned indefinitely."

Meanwhile Ricardo Fuller has been singled out by assistant boss Peter Houston as the player to unlock a packed Ross County defence in tomorrow’s Tennent’s Scottish Cup third-round tie.

County knocked Hearts from the CIS Cup on penalties earlier this season but Houston is in no mood for a repeat.

"We will give them the respect they deserve but the onus is on us to go out and win the game," he said. "Ricardo Fuller is an important player for us and has caused trouble for a lot of Premier League defences. He has linked up well with Gary Wales since the pair came into the side and I think they’re benefiting from playing alongside each other."

Taken from the Scotsman

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