HeadLine: ABERDEEN CASUAL’S LONDON LINK-UP
The Mirror, 08/05/2002, p7
by SHAUN MILNE
THIS is the twisted Aberdeen football thug who heaps shame on all
Scotland’s real fans.
Casuals ringleader William Watson threw a bottle at riot police and
other brawling fans in a pub after violence exploded when they
travelled to England hell-bent on causing trouble.
Watson was one of 48 men arrested when cops swooped on a London pub
after a West Ham-Spurs league match last month.
The Scottish Daily Mirror can reveal that Watson, 32, who admitted
threatening behaviour at Thames Magistrates Court in London yesterday,
has a history of being involved in football violence.
He was warned, along with a Spurs fan, that they face jail when they
are sentenced later this month.
Watson, of Ferryhill, Aberdeen, was part of a group of 80 Dons casuals
who travelled to London for a confrontation with Rangers fans.
They believed the Ibrox casuals would team up with West Ham fans in a
clash with Spurs thugs.
Tensions were high and trouble was brewing over the league match and a
bout in Bethnal Green between two boxers who supported the London
But the Rangers fans never appeared and the Aberdeen casuals were
caught up in trouble at a pub.
The court heard around 100 Spurs fans were in the Salmon and Bull pub
with another 100 West Ham fans on their way for a confrontation.
Sally Weddell, prosecuting, said: “There were a number of fights en
route and it was decided to keep those there inside the pub.
“In the pub, they threw missiles at police who had to don riot gear.”
Watson was seen taking a swig from a beer bottle which he then threw at
officers and missed.
But a bottle thrown by another fan, Jonathan Lewis, 20, of East London,
smashed off an officer’s crash helmet.
Police commandeered a double-decker bus to take those arrested to
various police stations.
District Judge Stephen Dawson told them: “It’s a serious matter
throwing bottles at people and could certainly result in custody,
although all the options are open.”
Following the Bethnal Green incident on April 13, police had to board a
London-Aberdeen train after passengers had complained that 10 fans
One woman was knocked down when trouble broke out on the packed
Transport Police and Tayside cops escorted six men from the train at
Dundee. They later completed their trip under police guard.
And the Scottish Daily Mirror can reveal that Watson has a long history
of soccer violence.
He was one of five Aberdeen casuals fined a total of £1,250 after
trouble five-years ago.
The five were described as the ringleaders when hooligans taunted
terrified train passengers with Nazi salutes and chanted “Kill the
Bill” on a Glasgow-Aberdeen service after a match at Motherwell in
One veteran cop said the scenes on the train were the worst he had
experienced in 22-years service.
Watson, who has six previous convictions for breach of the peace, was
fined £350 after all five admitted being part of a disorderly crowd.
Following the trial, the thug was banned for life from Pittodrie by
Dons club bosses.
Categories: Daily Mirror articles