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Last Updated: Monday, 26 June 2006, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Fan's England flags burned down
Alexander Clark and England flags
Alexander Clark's England flags were burned down in Stonehaven
Police have launched an investigation after England flags were torn from a house and burned in Stonehaven.

Alexander Clark was flying the three flags in the Aberdeenshire town in support of England in the World Cup.

The large flags had been hanging from the house in Newbigging Drive since the beginning of the tournament but disappeared overnight on Friday.

A man was assaulted in Aberdeen last week while wearing an England football shirt.

Mr Clark, 45, originally from Stoke-on-Trent, has lived in Stonehaven for many years and said: "I am really angry about it.

Clearly the fact that the World Cup is underway and England were playing had a bearing on the theft and damage to the flags
Inspector Jim Gordon
Grampian Police

"I can't point fingers but this is obviously anti-English.

"I spend my money on football memorabilia and for someone to go and whip down the flags is awful."

Grampian Police Inspector Jim Gordon said: "At this stage the incident is being treated as theft and vandalism.

'Deplorable act'

"Clearly the fact that the World Cup is under way and England were playing Ecuador on Sunday had a bearing on the theft and damage to the flags.

"It is reasonable to assume the flags were targeted because they belonged to an English fan.

"It is extremely disappointing that someone has gone beyond the bounds of good natured banter and carried out this deplorable act.

"Fans should be able to support their team without fear of this kind of incident, which I am sure is the view of the vast majority of people in Stonehaven."

Police in Aberdeen and Edinburgh are still investigating two recent attacks on people wearing England tops which are being treated as football-related racist assaults

Disabled Ian Smith, 41, was attacked in his car in Aberdeen and seven-year-old Hugo Clapshaw was punched in an Edinburgh park.

Prime Minister Tony Blair and First Minister Jack McConnell both condemned the assaults.


SEE ALSO
England shirt attacks condemned
21 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Vandals try to burn England flag
19 Jun 06 |  South of Scotland

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