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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 August, 2003, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Arbroath to forgive hoaxer
Paul Browne
Paul Browne had fled to England to escape the bad publicity
Controversial defender Paul Browne is set to sign a one-year deal with Arbroath after being forgiven for his hoax call shame.

Browne impressed as a trialist substitute on Saturday as the relegated outfit started their Second Division campaign with a 1-0 victory over Berwick Rangers.

But manager John Brownlie said he would only re-sign the 28-year-old if the fans, board and players could forget his well-publiced hoax call to Eddie Forrest.

That persuaded his fellow defender to tear-up his new Arbroath contract on the promise of a bogus offer from full-time Raith Rovers.

Forrest was offered his contract back by Arbroath but angered the Angus club by then signing for Scottish Premier League outfit Partick Thistle.

I have to take into account whether he will be accepted
Arbroath boss John Brownlie
Arbroath had offered Browne a contract to replace Forrest but then tore it up when the hoax call scam was revealed.

Browne, meanwhile, fled to England and appeared to have been so blacklisted that he was considering an offer from non-league outfit Leigh.

But Brownlie told BBC Sport that the former Aston Villa youth deserves another chance and expects him to sign a contract with the Second Division club on Thursday evening.

"I have been taking advice from everybody I respect in football," he said.

"It would be a very good football decision, but obviously in this instance there are other things to consider.

"I have to take into account whether he will be accepted, by the supporters, the directors, the players, everybody."

Raith claimed that Browne had admitted making the hoax call following an internal investigation, but he later insisted that it was a friend who had actually spoken to Forrest on the telephone.





ARBROATH


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