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A Wee Scam

July 14, 2003
July 14, 2003

Table of Contents
July 14, 2003

Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: Golf Plus

A Wee Scam

DUPED Into quitting his job as a defender for the Scottish soccer
team Arbroath, 24-year-old Eddie Forrest. On June 23 Forrest
signed a part-time contract with the first-division club. The
agreement had a clause allowing Forrest to leave the team if he
received a full-time offer from another side. A few days later
Forrest got a call from someone who claimed to be Danny Smith,
chairman of Scotland's Raith Rovers, and who offered Forrest a
full-time job. Forrest accepted, and when he told Arbroath he
would activate the escape clause in his contract, the team
immediately hired a replacement, 28-year-old veteran midfielder
Paul Browne.

This is an article from the July 14, 2003 issue Original Layout

But when Forrest called to find out when to report to Raith,
Smith was flummoxed and said he'd never made an offer. An
investigation of phone records revealed that the prank caller was
in fact ... Paul Browne! Arbroath voided Browne's contract and
took Forrest back, but the incident created such a backlash
against Browne--under headlines such as hoax which rocked
football, outraged Scottish journalists labeled him "two-faced,"
"malicious" and a "sick prankster"--that he and his family have
fled to England. "People have turned me into some kind of soccer
leper," Browne told Scotland's Sunday Mail. Browne, who had
confessed to the flimflam, is now backing off, claiming the calls
were made by "a daft laddie who is a mate of mine."

Things have turned out better for Forrest, who last week again
left Arbroath, this time for a full-time deal with Partick
Thistle of the Scottish Premier League. "I can't forgive Paul for
what happened, but I hope his football career isn't over because
of this," said Forrest. "As far as I see it, I've had the last
laugh."

COLOR PHOTO: DAILY RECORD, GLASGOW (BROWNE) A "SOCCER LEPER" Browne (right) has been pilloried for faking outForrest, who has gone on to greater things.COLOR PHOTO: RON VAVASOUR (FORREST) [See caption above]