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Friday, September 4, 1998 Published at 04:10 GMT 05:10 UK


UK

Football mad ex-spy's match rigging claim

David Shayler: "The Boro never come back like that"

Former MI5 spy David Shayler has made another claim against his former employers.

Shayler fled to France last year after selling British newspapers a story about a secret service plot to kill Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi.

He was arrested a month ago after threatening to publish further allegations on his Internet site and is currently battling an extradition request from a Paris jail.

But Shayler, 32, a Middlesbrough fan, is known to have found life as a fugitive hard from the start because he missed out on live football.

In an article published on Friday, he tells soccer magazine FourFourTwo he suspects MI5 fixed his side's Coca-Cola Cup semi-final win over Liverpool.

He claims top secret agents knew he would find it hard to resist returning to see Middlesbrough in the final.

Shayler kept up with the game on Teletext, amazed as his team came back from 0-1 down to a 3-2 win on aggregate.

"I began to wonder - the Boro never come back like that," he told FourFourTwo in a March interview.

"In my more paranoid moments, I worried it was an MI5 conspiracy.

"They knew I was Boro-mad and would be unable to resist being there for the final.

"In the end, I decided not to go. I couldn't take the risk."

With hindsight, the decision appears to have been wise: Middlesbrough lost 2-0 to Chelsea.



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