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Forfar boss Dick Campbell rues Loyalist singing

Forfar manager Dick Campbell
Campbell has been with Division Three club Forfar since 2008

By Clive Lindsay

Forfar Athletic boss Dick Campbell admits to feeling embarrassed after he was caught on film singing a Loyalist song with Rangers fans in Spain.

The rendition of the controversial "Derry's Walls" appeared as a video on the News of the World website.

"I am very embarrassed as I am not that kind of guy. I was at a karaoke. I've been totally stitched up," he said.

The 56-year-old Campbell and the Third Division club insist there is no question of him leaving Station Park.

The Loyalist song "Derry's Walls", which celebrates the 1689 siege of the Northern Ireland city, divides opinion, with some on the opposing side of the religious and political divide saying it is offensive.

Singing of sectarian songs has been an issue in Scottish football and has drawn condemnation from politicians and Church leaders.

Campbell, whose own wife and three sons are Catholics, has insisted he is not a bigot.

Rest assured, there's no doubt about Dick Campbell staying as manager of Forfar Athletic

Forfar Athletic secretary David McGregor

"People who know me will be shocked as that's not my style," Campbell, who previously managed his local club Dunfermline Athletic in Scotland's top flight, told BBC Scotland.

"I don't care if you're Catholic, Protestant or whatever. I even fine my own players if they tell me they are lifelong Rangers or Celtic fans.

"I am not a supporter of either club but have helped charities on both sides, have followed both clubs in Europe and sung 'Fields of Athenry' with Celtic fans."

The video shows Campbell explaining to drinkers in Flaherty's Irish bar in Seville that his brother Peter, who died last year, was a Rangers fan and that his own allegiances lay with his friend, Rangers manager Walter Smith.

Campbell, who also managed Cowdenbeath, Brechin City, Partick Thistle and Ross County, had been out for a drink while in Spain on business.

He says he finally succumbed to pressure to take part in the singing by Rangers fans in Spain for the Champions League game against Sevilla.

"I started singing an Andy Williams song, but that went down like a lead weight and I just got caught up in the moment," said Campbell.

"I haven't read the paper or watched the video and I never will, but I certainly won't go into a karaoke bar again."

Forfar secretary David McGregor, whose club states their opposition to sectarianism on their website, said that the Loons would be issuing a statement within 48 hours.

"We are not happy that this has appeared in the papers and Dick is not happy about it," he said.

"But, rest assured, there's no doubt about Dick Campbell staying as manager of Forfar Athletic.

"We are not trying to minimise the gravity of this as the reports do make it sound awful.

"But we don't have the problems with these things they have in the west of Scotland."



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see also
Division Three prize for Campbell
07 Sep 09 |  Forfar
Rangers may face SPL chant probe
17 Feb 09 |  Rangers


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