Bee colony destroyed after discovery of infectious disease

The hive was ordered to be burned after American foulbrood was found.

Perthshire: An infected bee colony has been destroyed. PA Media via PA Ready
Perthshire: An infected bee colony has been destroyed.

An infected bee colony has been destroyed after the first-known outbreak this year of a highly resistant disease in Scotland.

A hive at an apiary in the Stanley area of Perthshire was found to be infected with American Foulbrood (AFB), an untreatable disease that affects colonies of honeybees.

The infection was confirmed by Scottish Government bee health inspectors who must burn and destroy the affected hive, all its bees and any honey it has produced.

Any other beekeepers in a 3km radius will be alerted to the outbreak, instructed to increase their biosecurity and inspectors are due to carry out follow-up inspections in the area.

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AFB is one of two notifiable diseases that can affect bee colonies and is caused by a spore-forming bacterium called paenibacillus larvae, with infections caused by food contaminated with spores being fed to larvae by the nurse bees.

Once in the gut of the larva, the spores germinate, bacteria move into the larval tissues before multiplying at pace, usually killing the larvae and leaving millions of infectious spores that are highly resistant to extremes of hot and cold as well as many disinfectants.

Chief veterinary officer for Scotland, Sheila Voas, said: “The finding of AFB is disappointing however it is a timely reminder that beekeepers should remain vigilant for signs of the disease at all times and it emphasises the important work of the Scottish Government bee health team.

“As determined by legislation, appropriate action will be taken.

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“There is no treatment permitted in the UK for AFB and therefore the bees, combs or bee products from the hive are required to be destroyed (by burning) whilst the hive, debris from the hive and any appliances or other things liable to spread the disease will be served with a notice requiring either treatment (sterilisation) or destruction.

“The movement of bees and related equipment into, or out of, the affected apiary will be under specific controls supervised by Scottish Government bee inspectors and will include enhanced biosecurity measures and increased vigilance in the area.

“I would reiterate that while this is disappointing, there are no risks to public health from AFB and no implications for the quality and safety of Scottish honey.”


Lateral flow tests to be sent to 17,000 fan zone attendees

The tests will be mailed out from Monday in a bid to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

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Testing: Football fans to be sent lateral flow tests.

Rapid lateral flow tests will be sent to thousands of football fans due to visit the Euro 2020 fan zone in Glasgow. 

The tests will be mailed to around 17,000 ticket holders on Monday in a bid to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 before and after the event. 

A mobile testing bus is also now in place at Glasgow Green to provide on-site lateral flow testing.

Attendees may also be asked by marshalls at the fan zone whether they have taken a test.

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Health Secretary Humza Yousaf confirmed the arrangements on Sunday as he was given a tour of the facility alongside Scotland’s National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch.

Yousaf said: “I am encouraged to see first-hand all the mitigations in place at the fan zone which have helped to ensure that it is a low risk event. Supporters can gather here safely in a controlled environment – with necessary physical distancing and hygiene measures in place – to enjoy the football.

“I am also pleased that feedback from fans and staff so far on the arrangements in place – and the atmosphere – has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Ticket holders have already been contacted to emphasise the importance of self-testing. It is important to test both before and after the event, so we are now offering test kits to all fans attending to help minimise the risk of transmission. Additionally a mobile testing unit will be on site. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 or whose receives a positive test result must stay away, self-isolate and book a PCR test.

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“Stewards will closely monitor the site and ask a sample of attendees about uptake of testing prior to arriving, while public health advisors will continue to look at data to ensure the event is being managed as safely as possible.

“The fan zone provides a focal point for celebrations and showcases the city. We want other businesses in Glasgow, including bars and restaurants, to be able to benefit from a boost in trade as a result of the tournament.”


Teen orphan granted permission to stay in Scotland permanently

More than 92,000 people signed a petition to support 13-year-old Giorgi Kakava.

Church of Scotland via E-mail

A teenage orphan who faced being deported from Glasgow to Georgia has been granted permission to stay in Scotland permanently.

More than 92,000 people signed a petition to support 13-year-old Giorgi Kakava. 

While the schoolboy has been given permanent residency, his grandmother, Ketino Baikhadze, has only been granted permission to stay for another 30 months.

Giorgi says he is relieved by his decision after living under a cloud of uncertainty since his residence permit expired in December.

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The teen told STV News: “I played games to get my mind off it, but it was always there.

“So, yeah, it’s relief.”

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Family: Giorgi with grandmother Ketino Baikhadze.

Giorgi and his mother, Sopio Baikhadze, fled to Glasgow in 2011 because she feared that gangsters whom her late husband owed a debt to would either kill him or sell him to sex traffickers.

The 35-year-old, who worked as a freelance translator and spoke multiple languages, was awaiting the outcome of an appeal for asylum when she passed away after a long illness in early 2018.

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It was her dying wish that her son remained in Glasgow and continued to grow up a “Scottish boy”.

Giorgi said: “I’ve made a lot of mates at school and it’s fun.

“I would like to thank everyone who signed the petition. I now hope they can offer the same support to my grandmother.”

His grandmother, who became his legal guardian after her daughter’s death, said: “Giorgi [is] my baby, my life.  

“I promised Sopio I [would] watch Giorgi.”

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Church of Scotland: Reverend Brian Casey, from Springburn Parish Church.

Giorgi was granted temporary permission to stay in the UK along with his grandmother in July 2018 after the Church of Scotland launched a high-profile campaign.

The case was raised in the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament. The then prime minister Theresa May ordered a Home Office review.

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Reverend Brian Casey, from Springburn Parish Church, said it’s been a long fight and at times “felt as though we were getting nowhere”.

The Church of Scotland minister added: “I have lobbied, I think, now three home secretaries over it. Just to see this is a fantastic day.

“It has been a long fight but it would have been criminal to send him back to a country that he doesn’t know where he could be in danger.

“But it does seem wrong that his gran, who is his guardian, will have to go through this whole protracted process again when he is 15 and still a minor.

“So, as we move forward we will have to keep an eye on that because it would be a travesty if they are split up.”

STV News
Immigration: Lawyer Andrew Bradley.

The family’s lawyer, Andrew Bradley, said Giorgi has been given indefinite leave due to his “exceptional circumstances”, but his grandmother has not been granted the same.

He said: “Well, clearly they are a family unit and Ketino has been given status because of the relationship with Giorgi.

“It would have been great if the Home Office could have seen that this was a circumstance where she should also have got the same leave as him, but unfortunately that just hasn’t happened.

“Unfortunately this ongoing uncertainty is the daily life of many families and that is the sad reality of the way the system works.”


Police watchdog investigates after man dies in incident

A 59-year-old died after being seriously injured in an incident attended by police officers on Friday.

Police Scotland
Watchdog: Circumstances surrounding man's death investigated.

The police watchdog is investigating after a man died following an incident attended by officers. 

Police were called to a property at Alison Lea in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, around 4.15pm on Friday. 

A 59-year-old man was seriously injured and later died.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 4.15pm, officers attended at a property in East Kilbride.

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“A 59-year-old man was seriously injured and has since died.”

The circumstances surrounding the man’s death are now being investigated by the Police Investigations and Review Commisioner (Pirc).

A spokesperson said: “We have been directed by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (Copfs) to investigate the circumstances of the death of a 59-year-old man following an incident involving police in East Kilbride on June 11, 2021.”


Newborn baby given potentially life-saving new drug

Isabella Winfield was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy just days after being born.

NHSGGC via Email
Drug: Baby Isabella given potentially life-saving drug.

A newborn baby has become one of the first in the UK to be given access to a new, potentially life-saving drug.

Isabella Winfield was born on April 30 in Elgin to parents Richard and Margaret, but within a few hours, it was clear the newborn wasn’t well.

Mum Margaret, from Archiestown, Moray said: “From her first check-up, the midwife was concerned that Isabella appeared to be floppy and told us she would need to refer her on to the paediatricians. From then they started lots of tests, focussing on her muscle function.

“As a new mum it was quite overwhelming. One minute I was a new mum, the next I had a very sick baby. But the team were great and their support was invaluable. Gene tests were started and we waited 11 days for the results.”

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Tests concluded that Isabella had Spinal Muscular Atrophy. 

Babies born with Type 1 SMA, which is the most common form of the condition, experience progressive muscle weakness, loss of movement, difficulty breathing. 

Without treatment, 90% of children don’t survive past their first year of life.

However the new family were given hope after new drug Zolgensma was made available on the NHS.

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Margaret said: “I was aware of Zolgensma but thought it was still in trials. As soon as they said it was available to us, we just thought yes, go for it. 

“We had no hesitation. If it’s available for her, it’s her best hope.”

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Baby Isabella with parents Margaret and Richard

Looking after Isabella and her family was Royal Hospital for Children neurologist Dr Iain Horrocks, who has spent his career specialising in neuromuscular disorders in children.

He said: “Tragically, most babies with Type 1 SMA would die within six months. There was no treatment. It’s a disorder of the Motor Unit and the missing gene means messages from the spinal cord where the gene is located to the muscles aren’t received. This results in muscle atrophy (or death). 

“Typically it presents as babies struggled to feed, but it was often as late as six months before it became apparent.

“For the last few years we have had access to a drug which works well in stopping muscle deterioration, but it needs to be given every four months for life. It’s injected into the spine. 

“As they get older, patients hate getting it and there can be problems getting access to the spine, so it’s not ideal. And it’s not a gene therapy.

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“Zolgensma is a game changer. Time is of the essence – the sooner it’s given the better and muscle function is protected from any further deterioration. Literally every day counts. It’s also less invasive as it’s given as a single, once only infusion, rather than being injected into the spine.”

Isabella was diagnosed at just 11 days old and nine days later received her potentially life-saving treatment.

Dr Horrocks said: “Isabella was the ideal candidate for Zolgensma. As she presented so young she managed the viral load of the gene therapy infusion really well. She was the perfect candidate for this treatment presenting at the perfect age”.

“I’m so pleased that we got to her so early. We only treated her about three weeks ago when she was only three weeks old, so it is probably too early to talk about the future, but we are, of course, optimistic. 

“She is a prime candidate to do really well with this therapy and we should see some real improvements with her in the next couple of months.

“The expectation from Isabella is that she could go on to hit her motor milestones within the WHO (World Health Organisation) classifications, such as sitting, standing and walking. So we really hope she will progress nicely, albeit, she will be a bit weak. 

“We hope she will be able to have a full life whereas a few years ago I would never have been able to talk about SMA babies like this.

“I am very hopeful for children with this condition in the coming years. It’s life changing.”

Richard, Margaret and six-week-old Isabella are now settling in at home in Archiestown and are hopeful for the future.

Margaret said: “At the end of the day, we have hope for her to go on and be a happy, healthy little girl. We are so grateful to everyone involved.”


Paris pays tribute to Scots war hero the ‘Tartan Pimpernel’

Rev Dr Donald Caskie has been commemorated on a marble plaque.

Church of Scotland via Email
Paris: Rev Dr Donald Caskie has been commemorated on a marble plaque.

A Church of Scotland minister nicknamed the Tartan Pimpernel who helped orchestrate the safe return of around 2000 servicemen from occupied France during the Second World War has been honoured in Paris.

Rev Dr Donald Caskie has been commemorated on a marble plaque erected on the exterior wall of the Scots Kirk where he was the minister 81 years ago.

Around 100 people attended the unveiling ceremony on La Rue Bayard on Thursday, including local church members and representatives from Mairie de Paris (Paris City Hall) and the Scottish Government.

Bagpiper Francis Sykes greeted guests with renditions of Auld Lang Syne, Flower of Scotland, Highland Cathedral, Scotland the Brave and The Skye Boat Song.

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Local school pupils read aloud in English and French extracts from Dr Caskie’s book, The Tartan Pimpernel, which tells how he fearlessly worked with the French Resistance to help trapped or imprisoned airmen, seamen and soldiers escape Nazi-occupied France.

The plaque was unveiled by Jeanne d’Hauteserre and Laurence Patrice of Mairie de Paris.

The commemoration project was led by Derek Bonin-Bree, an elder at the Scots Kirk, with the support of other office bearers and minister Rev Jan Steyn, who said the war hero’s faith “spurred him on to oppose injustice, intolerance and tyranny”.

They were supported by the Scottish Government’s office in Paris in their mission to persuade Paris City Hall to allow the installation of a commemorative plaque.

Church of Scotland via Email
Tartan Pimpernel: Rev Dr Donald Caskie.
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Lord Wallace, moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland, was unable to attend the ceremony due to Covid-19 travel restrictions but said that it is a fitting tribute to an “inspirational, distinguished and courageous” man.

Dr Caskie was the minister at the Scots Kirk when the Germans invaded France in 1940 and frequently denounced the Nazis from the pulpit which meant he had more to fear than many after the invasion.

He was repeatedly urged to return home and after the Dunkirk evacuation he locked the church on the 9th of June of that year and joined the mass exodus of Paris, heading south.

The crofter’s son, from the inner Hebridean island of Islay, was said to have had the Celtic gift of second sight, endured weeks of hardship to get to Bayonne but in the end rejected the chance of safe passage on the last ship bound for the UK on the grounds that his place should be given to a wounded man instead.

He walked to a village called Cambo les Bains where he met friends from Paris purely by chance and they drove to the port city of Marseille – leaving just hours before the Germans arrived.

Dr Caskie believed that God had commanded him to stay in France and help stranded British subjects and he was warned that he must only engage with civilians and would be arrested if he assisted servicemen. 

He ran a seaman’s mission but was living a double life and secretly helped airmen, seamen and soldiers, under the noses of the Vichy police, escape the country across mountains into Spain or by sea in a submarine or ship.

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Dr Caskie, a Gaelic speaker whose codename was Monsieur Le Canard – Donald Duck – was eventually recruited by British intelligence officers and was told that his mission was the last link of a chain of safe houses that they had set up, which stretched from Dunkirk to Marseille.

His main resistance contact was General Sir Albert-Marie Guerisse, codenamed Pat O’Leary who is named on the 58cm x 35cm pink/beige coloured plaque.

There is a ring attached to the wall underneath it for flowers which are placed there every August by the Mairie de Paris in honour of resistance fighters around the date when the city was liberated after three years of occupation.

One of the soldiers Dr Caskie helped was Captain Derek Lang who was captured at St Valery-en-Caux in Normandy along with 10,000 soldiers from the 51st Highland Division, mostly Scots, 81 years ago this weekend.

He managed to escape the Germans and fled to Marseille where he recalled meeting a “courageous and fearless” Church of Scotland minister.

“Evil in war produces heroes and Donald Caskie is one of these,” wrote the army officer in the forward to the Tartan Pimpernel – a book he said moved him to tears.

Captain Lang was spirited out of the country on a ship to Beirut, Lebanon, with the help of the padre and eventually returned to Britain and helped prepare Allied troops for the D-Day landings in 1944.

Not long after the Normandy invasion, he liberated St Valery-en-Caux as the commanding officer of the 5th Cameron Highlanders and later became Lieutenant General Sir Derek Lang, Commander-in Chief Scotland 1966-69 and governor of Edinburgh Castle.

Reflecting on Dr Caskie’s legacy, Mr Steyn said: “We see heroism but he saw his duty as a Christian.

“He helps us renew with strong values of selflessness, kindness and devotion.

“His story still is an inspiration to us all.”

Mr Bonin-Bree said the ceremony was also a chance to pay homage to all involved in the Pat O’Leary resistance network.

“Gathering intelligence, exfiltration actions, giving food and clothes to ragged and starved men were a part of a much bigger scheme, which led to the liberation and closed a dark chapter of World history,” he added.

Lord Wallace revealed that Dr Caskie was one of his heroes when he was at school in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway.

“In my first year at Annan Academy, our rector read extracts from the Tartan Pimpernel at morning assembly,” he recalled.

“The narrative of speaking out against oppression, standing up, in faith, for principles, acts of daring, acts of courage, saving lives, being betrayed and survival ensured that the next instalment was eagerly anticipated.

“Moreover, the catchment area for the school included Gretna, where Donald Caskie had his first charge as a minister.

“He was a man who placed his trust in his Lord and Saviour, a man who refused to take the easy way out, a man who took huge risks to rescue others.

“But I pause to wonder how many young – and not so young – people today know the story of Donald Caskie?

“That is why plaques such as this one and this ceremony today organised by the Mairie de Paris are so important if we are to recognise and keep alive the memory of such selfless fortitude.

“And at home in Scotland, we should reflect on what more we need to do keep such memory alive.”

Lord Wallace said Dr Caskie and the Kirk missionary Jane Haining, who died in Auschwitz after refusing to abandon Jewish school girls in her care at the Scottish Mission in Budapest, Hungary, were driven by their faith and prepared to “risk all in such loving and dangerous service”.

Several events were held this week by the Scots Kirk to honour Dr Caskie, who was nicknamed the Tartan Pimpernel by the BBC.

There is a permanent exhibition about the minister inside the building and his Gaelic Bible is on display, gifted by his nephew Tom Caskie.

Commenting on the new plaque, the Edinburgh man said: “I am proud that the Scots parishioners of Paris continue to honour my uncle, a peaceful, loving and heroic Scot in France during the Second World War.

“I remember his quiet highland voice telling us ghost stories as we grew up in the early years after the war.

“A gentle voice but one of Scotland’s great heroes.”

Dr Caskie was eventually arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo and sentenced to death.

His life was only saved through the intervention of a German pastor and he spent the rest of the war in a Prisoner of War camp.

Dr Caskie returned to Scotland after a spell in Paris and died in 1983 at the age of 81 and is buried at Bowmore on Islay.


Coronavirus: 1036 new cases recorded in Scotland overnight

It was also confirmed that 3,497,287 Scots have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

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Covid-19: The fight to stem the spread of the deadly virus goes on.

A further 1036 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Scotland overnight, according to the Scottish Government.

The daily test positivity rate is 5%, up from the 4.1% reported on Saturday.

In a note on the data, Public Health Scotland said it is aware of a delay at the Lighthouse Lab in Glasgow, which may mean tests and cases reported over the last 48 hours have been fewer than in the previous days.

Of the new cases reported on Sunday, 248 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, 230 are in Lothian, 151 are in Tayside, 111 are in Ayrshire and Arran, and 107 are in Lanarkshire.

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The rest of the cases are spread out across six other health board areas.

No further deaths were reported.

The lab-confirmed death toll of those who tested positive currently stands at 7681, however figures including suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is now at least 10,130.

It was also confirmed that 3,497,287 Scots have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, an increase of 19,909 from the day before.

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A total of 2,425,825 people have received their second dose, a rise of 23,125.


Over-40s urged to seek earlier coronavirus vaccine slot

A new online tool has been launched which allows people to check the status of their second appointment.

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Vaccine: Over-40s urged to move up second appointment.

People over 40 whose second coronavirus vaccine dose is more than eight weeks after their first are being encouraged to seek an earlier slot.

A new online tool has been launched on the NHS Inform website which allows people to check the status of their second appointment.

Recent advice has recommended bringing forward the second dose from 12 to eight weeks.

Those who have an invitation for a second dose with a 12-week interval will now be able to bring this forward.

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The Scottish Government says under-40s will also be able to reschedule their second doses when supplies permit.

As well as the “vaccine journey” tool on the NHS Inform website, the national helpline can be used to reschedule second doses.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We are working closely with NHS boards to ensure the number of appointments can be increased in line with national guidance to help combat new variants and provide protection to as many people as possible.

“Boards are boosting their capacity to administer second doses alongside the delivery of first doses to younger cohorts and appointments are now being issued in accordance with the new recommendation of an eight-week gap.

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“The second dose is vital in providing greater and longer lasting protection against the virus – particularly the new Delta (Indian) variant.

“In line with the advice from the JCVI, we encourage those whose appointment was already scheduled – which is mainly over-40s at this time – to use the NHS Inform online tool, drop-in clinics or the national helpline to get their second dose appointment as close to eight weeks after their first as possible.”


Appeal after deliberate fire set at recycling plant

The blaze at Greendykes Industrial Estate in Broxburn caused substantial damage to machinery.

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Blaze: Deliberate fire causes substantial damage.

Detectives are appealing for information after a fire was deliberately set at a waste and recycling plant.

Police were called to the scene at Greendykes Industrial Estate, Broxburn on Thursday at around 6.10pm following reports of a fire. 

The blaze caused substantial damage to machinery and following enquiries, is being treated as deliberate. 

Police are also investigating whether the fire is linked to two others at Albyn Industrial Estate in Broxburn in the past week. 

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Detective Constable Adam Gow from Livingston Police Station said: “Luckily no one was injured as a result of this crime.

“Our investigation is ongoing and we have been carrying out enquiries in the industrial estate and gathering CCTV footage from in and around the area to gain further information on those responsible for starting this fire.

“Two young men wearing dark-coloured clothing were seen near the premises around the time the fire was set and we are working to track these suspects down.

“I would appeal to anyone who was in the area between 6.30pm and 7.30pm on Thursday afternoon, who may have seen these men acting suspiciously, or who has any information on their identity to contact us as soon as possible.

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“I would also be keen to speak to anyone who was driving in the area of Greendykes industrial estate with dash-cam footage, as it may have captured detail that will help our ongoing inquiry.

“We are also working to establish if this fire is linked to two other fires at Albyn industrial estate in Broxburn that took place at 7pm on Wednesday June 9 and 7am on Friday, June 11.

Anyone with information should contact officers through 101 quoting reference 3100 of June 10. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.


Young football fan hopes to be Scotland’s lucky charm

Josh Forrest, 11, from Forfar, will lead the national side out at Hampden as the team's official matchball mascot.

STV News

A young football fan is hoping to be the Scotland team’s lucky mascot against the Czech Republic.

Josh Forrest, from Forfar, will lead the national side out at Hampden on Monday.

The primary six pupil, who plays in defence or midfield for Kirrie Thistle, has been named the official matchball mascot for the Scots’ Euros opener.

It’s a historic moment for the young Aberdeen fan who will be the first mascot to lead the men’s side out in a major tournament in 23 years.

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“I wasn’t even born the last time we were in a championship, so it’s an absolutely amazing opportunity for me to be doing this,” Josh said.

“I can’t explain it. I’m so excited. A bit nervous and anxious too but mainly excited.”

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Football fan Josh Forrest will be a mascot at Scotland’s match against the Czech Republic.

The 11-year-old will be at Hampden at 7.30am on Monday for a practice run, and will also be kitted out in the Scotland strip.

Proud parents Gail and Gary Forrest will be attending the match, with dad Gary saying the opportunity was “very special” for the youngster. 

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“We know he will be the only person carrying the official matchball out onto the pitch,” he said.

“We know it’s a very special occasion and one that he’ll never get the chance to do again.

“It’s probably more special after the length of time since Scotland have qualified for something like this, so very special.”

Josh won the once-in-a-lifetime prize after entering a competition at Dundee car dealership Barnett’s Volkswagon.

The youngster has predicted that Scotland will triumph over the Czechs on Monday. 

“Hopefully. I hope we can win. It shouldn’t be an easy game but I think we should win it. I think 3-1 Scotland,” he said.

“I think Che Adams, John McGinn and Lyndon Dykes will score.”


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