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  Wednesday, 5 February, 2003, 11:31 GMT
Taggart writer on the ball
Mark McManus was the original Taggart
Mark McManus was the original Taggart

A Taggart scriptwriter has been rumbled after naming characters in the TV show after his footballing heroes.

Dunfermline fan Stuart Hepburn decided to immortalise the 1968 Scottish Cup winning side in an epsisode of the detective drama.

But he reckoned without the sharpness of fellow-supporter Robert Clunie, who wrote in to the Radio Times to make sure he wasn't seeing things.

Hepburn, who has written several Taggart scripts, admitted he was amazed.

Football players will be conspicuous by their absence in future

Stuart Hepburn

He told BBC Sport Online: "I was suprised and then slightly worried. I thought he might think I was taking the mickey.

"As a writer, one never wants something to detract from the story, but I couldn't resist slipping in a few names from that heroic side.

"I changed some of the sexes and slightly altered some of the names, but one eagle-eyed Dunfermline fan sussed me out.

"I'm just pleased someone else was able to remember the glory days."

In his letter, Clunie wrote: "The character list of surnames and initials for the episode of Taggart shown on 25 January (An Eye for an Eye) read like a past team sheet for Dunfermline Athletic Football Club.

Bizarre

"The present manager and team captain were also represented. Could the writer, Stuart Hepburn, be a fan?"

Hepburn replied: "It's a fair cop, Robert. I have written about 10 Taggarts and the search for new names that I have never used before is an increasingly frustrating one.

"From this bizarre behaviour you will have gathered that I'm not so much a Dunfermline fan, as a fanatic."

St Johnstone's Nathan Lowndes and Monaco's Bruno Irles
St Johnstone will not feature in future Taggarts

But he insisted to Sport Online: "I have no plans to do anything like this again. Football players will be conspicuous by their absence in future.

"I normally get names from the Yellow Pages and I will be sticking to that plan from now on."

But has he had any requests for more obscure sporting line-ups as a result of his 'outing'?

"Funny you should say that," he laughed. "Colin McCreedie, who plays DC Stuart Fraser, is a St Johnstone fan.

"He asked me to include the glorious St Johnstone team that drew 3-3 with Monaco in the next episode."

And will he?

"No chance!"

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