Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Section B

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Founding location  Airdrie, Scotland
Territory  Airdrie
Membership (est.)  80-100
Years active  1977–present
Ethnicity  Mostly white Scottish
Criminal activities  Football hooliganism and violent fighting

Section B are a group of football supporters who follow Airdrieonians F.C., and before the current club's formation in 2002, followed the original Airdrieonians F.C.. The group, formed in 1977, have been well known throughout Scottish football for their boisterous, vociferous and often violent behaviour for nearly 40 years. The group is widely regarded as one of the most violent gangs in Scotland.

Contents

Section B have featured in several publications over the years, including The Idler Book of Crap Towns II (2004), Hooligans (September 2005 and updated September 2007), and Front Magazine (February 2006).

Formation

During the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s the town of Airdrie often witnessed hooliganism and misbehaviour in and around the old Broomfield Park where Airdrieonians played. The larger clubs — namely Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Hibs, would have an element of their support that would often cause bother with the local fans. Section B were formed as a direct response to this threat, and were originally made up of an amalgamation of smaller groups of gangs from around the town. This diverse mixture combined punks, mods and others.

Contrary to popular belief, Section B were not named after the area of terracing where they mainly stood, but in tribute to a local punk band by the same name who were active at the time.

In the last few years Section B have attended the more important and significant games (and clashes with rivals where the football clubs are not meeting) where numbers can still attain 50-80 plus, and on occasion as high as 100 or more.

Activity

In 2006 Airdrie fan Izak Cowie became the first person in Scotland banned from every football ground in the UK. Airdrie fan Ian Bear received a 5-year banning order after being charged with making Nazi salutes and challenging rival fans to fights in Paisley in March 2006. In April 2013 they were involved in a fight with rival fans where a policeman was seriously assaulted (see Ayr United, below), with an Airdrie fan subsequently jailed for 3 years in November 2014. Following an incident against a player at Station Park, Forfar in April 2015 (see Forfar Athletic, below) four Airdrie fans (including Ian Bear who had received a previous banning order - see above) were due to appear in court charged with various offences (including three for assault) in August 2015. As a result of this Ian Bear and Ryan Lawrence (son of former Airdrie player Alan Lawrence) both received a 3 month jail sentence and a 5-year banning order in August 2016.

Along with clashes with Celtic Soccer Crew, Aberdeen Soccer Casuals and several other hooligan groups, Section B have been involved in many incidents throughout the years:

Albion Rovers

  • In 1983 at Cliftonhill, the home ground of Albion Rovers, the game was stopped twice with around 50-70 Section B storming the home support. At the time the riot made the front page of The Glasgow Herald.
  • In July 2010, fighting broke out in the Cliftonhill ground at half time.
  • In March 2012, Section B wall and pitch graffiti were reported by local press at a Cliftonhill pre-derby clash.
  • Ayr United

  • In May 2002 at Somerset Park, home of Ayr United, the game was abandoned due to a pitch invasion and crossbar snapping.
  • In October 2009, a confrontation with the Ayr Service Crew (ASC) at Airdrie with one Airdrie fan arrested.
  • In March 2011, fighting occurred in Airdrie town centre with Ayr United's ASC. ASC (March 2011).
  • In April 2013, a policeman was seriously assaulted and nine fans were arrested as a total of 60 Section B and ASC battled near Coatbridge town centre. Following this incident, police made 20 further arrests in Ayrshire in June 2013.
  • In November 2015, police intervened after scuffles broke out between security/stewards and 10-15 Section B at Somerset Park during a league game.
  • Bury

  • In October 1980, Airdrieonians faced Bury in the Anglo-Scottish Cup and Section B were charged at by mounted police in Lancashire.
  • Clydebank

  • In 1991, when the team was to play Clydebank Section B caused trouble in The Atlantis pub on Kilbowie Road. This incident was reported in the Clydebank Post.
  • Dumbarton

  • In May 2012, some Section B came on to the field and challenged the celebrating Dumbarton fans at the end of the play-off final in Airdrie. They were escorted off the park by stewards.
  • Dundee

  • In November 1994, between 60 and 70 Section B members faced the Dundee Utility Crew outside McDiarmid Park in Perth after the 1994 Scottish Challenge Cup Final (B&Q Cup Final).
  • In February 2006, between 60 and 70 Section B members caused disorder and tried to engage with the Dundee Utility Crew after the game in Airdrie.
  • In May 2006, police tried (and failed) to keep around 50 plus Section B in Excelsior Stadium (New Broomfield) at the end of the game — Section B rushed the police and the scene was captured on camera.
  • Dunfermline Athletic

  • On 24 September 1991, after the loss by penalty kicks to Dunfermline Athletic in the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup at Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh, between 40 and 50 Section B vandalized cars and smashed windows of a pub.
  • In November 2009, Dunfermline's Carnegie Soccer Service (CSS) met Section B after the end of the game in Airdrie.
  • In May 2010, fighting broke out in the stadium bar at Airdrie before the game.
  • Falkirk

  • In the mid 1990s Airdrie Section B and Falkirk Fear clashed outside a Falkirk pub with Airdrie coming out on top. A number on each side were arrested. When the court case took place the judge reviewed the CCTV footage and asked which side was which. When told one group was the Falkirk Fear the judge replied, "they look more like the Falkirk Fearties to me!". The judges comments were carried in local press at the time.
  • In March 2002, around 20 Section B members travelled to meet about 30 Falkirk Fear — the fight was captured on CCTV.
  • In 2013, a group of section B entered the Mill Inn before the match and a short skirmish occurred.
  • Forfar Athletic

  • In April 2015, some Airdrie fans invaded Forfar Athletic's pitch, Station Park, at the end of a league game to confront goalkeeper, Rab Douglas.
  • Greenock Morton

  • In August 2003 some Section B and Morton Soccer Crew traded blows after the match outside the Norseman pub. The Morton mob were quickly overwhelmed by the larger group of Airdrie.
  • In May 2007, around 100 Section B taunted the Greenock Morton fans at New Broomfield, with a few fans trading blows with the Morton Soccer Crew (MSC) on the pitch at the end of the game.
  • Gretna

  • In September 2006, Section B were involved in a racial incident at Gretna.
  • Hamilton

  • In March 2007, Section B were involved in running battles with Hamilton's Accies Casual Force (ACF) near New Douglas Park.
  • Hibernian

  • In 1978, the Hibernian team bus was attacked in Airdrie.
  • In March 1992, after a Scottish Cup game Section B clash with the Capital City Service (CCS).
  • In May 1997, Section B and the Capital City Service (CCS) were involved in fighting around Easter Road after a play-off tie.
  • Kilmarnock

  • In September 2002, after the game a group of Kilmarnock Paninaro were charged at outside Rugby Park, with two Airdrie fans arrested.
  • Motherwell

  • In September 2001 around 50 Section B clashed with around 60 Motherwell SS outside Airdrie Sheriff Court. A number of lads on either side received injuries with the fighting lasting a considerable length of time.
  • In January 2007, Section B had a major clash with local rivals Motherwell's Saturday Service (SS).
  • In May 2007, there was a confrontation with the SS at the annual central Scotland Apprentice Boys of Derry parade which was being held in Airdrie that year.
  • Partick Thistle

  • In 2002 around 60 Section B clashed with a small number of Partick Thistle NGE outside Firhill stadium before the match. Thistle ran after being overcome. After the match around 15-20 Thistle NGE atttacked Airdrie with weapons on Maryhill Road but had to run after being overwhelmed by Airdrie's larger numbers.
  • In May 2009, Section B were involved in a pitched battle and mass brawl with Partick Thistle's North Glasgow Express (NGE).
  • Rangers

  • In 2007 a number of younger Section B travelled to Glasgow when the Airdrie game was postponed due to snow and engaged in a pre-arranged fight with Rangers ICF in the Gorbals. Rangers had the better of the encounter after a small number used blades on Airdrie.
  • In August 2013 and January 2014, about 20-25 Section B were prevented by police from leaving the outside of New Broomfield and escorted to the town centre after league matches with Rangers.
  • Ross County

  • In November 2008, two Airdrie fans were charged with vandalizing McDiarmid Park stadium in Perth at the Challenge Cup Final game against Ross County.
  • Sparta Prague

  • In 1992, 150 fans travelled to the Czech Republic and clashed with Sparta hooligans before and after the game.
  • St Johnstone

  • In March 2006, whilst trying to engage with St Johnstone's Fair City Firm (FCF) two Airdrie fans were arrested outside McDiarmid Park.
  • St Mirren

  • In November 2005, St Mirren's Love Street Division (LSD) were in Airdrie for the 2005 Scottish Challenge Cup Final against Hamilton and fought with Section B.
  • In March 2006, Section B were involved in fighting in Paisley town centre with St Mirren's LSD.
  • References

    Section B Wikipedia


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