Trip to Paris turns to terror for rugby club pals

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A Bishopbriggs man has told how his trip to Paris with rugby pals turned into a nightmare when they were caught up in Friday’s terror attacks.

Scott Muir, president of Allan Glen’s Rugby Club, had travelled to the French capital with nine fellow club members for a match.

But all hell broke loose when they were enjoying an evening out in a pub.

Scott, (pictured third right) who returned home safely on Sunday with his team-mates, said on Monday: “We saw about four or five policeman running down the street with automatic weapons.

“The next thing the bouncer at the bar shut all the doors and told us to get downstairs to the basement.

“I’ve never heard so many sirens in my life. It was so surreal.

“It wasn’t until afterwards I thought, ‘it could so easily have been us’.”

The terror attacks claimed the lives of more than 130 people in separate killing sprees across the city. Dozens more were seriously injured, many critical.

Scott and his team-mates had been due to watch the Glasgow Warriors play in a European Champions Cup tie against Racing 92 on Saturday.

But their trip turned to terror as they enjoyed a few drinks in an Irish bar.

McBride’s, in Rue Saint Denis, is near the Bataclan Theatre where 89 concert goers were slaughtered.

Scott said: “I have been in Paris lots of times before. We were staying in the Hotel des Comedies which is in the old theatre district of Paris.”

Earlier in the evening, the group had enjoyed a meal at a Parisian restaurant.

Scott said: “It was like an old wine cellar. If the gunmen had chosen this one there would have been nowhere to hide. We simply wouldn’t have got out.”

After their meal, the 10 friends decided to go to a nearby pub called Brasserie.

While they were there, the bar owner suddenly put the metal window shutters down and told everyone to go home.

Scott said: “We found out then that some sort of terrotist incident was happening. We just didn’t know what.”

When the friends left the bar just after 9pm, they saw blue lights flashing in the distance and heard multiple sirens.

Scott said: “We wanted to get back to the hotel but people told us to go the other way.”

By this time, most of the pubs were closing but the team-mates found an Irish bar which still had its doors open.

Scott said: “We went in and then saw about five policemen running down the street with automatic weapons.

“The next thing, the bouncer at the bar shut all the doors and told us to get downstairs to the basement.”

He added: “There was a hen party on, It was a disco area and there were about 100 of us there.

“The bar owners were amazing and looked after all of us very well. We were all given free drink and just sang rugby songs to keep our spirits up.”

The all-clear was finally given at 2am and the group made their way back to their hotel.

It wasn’t until they saw the news on TV that they realised the enormity of what had happened.

Scott said: “I couldn’t believe it, the total panic. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.”

The 10 friends flew home on Sunday to be met with tight security at Edinburgh Airport.

Scott said: “There was just the usual security in Paris but it was a different story at Edinburgh.

“Special branch met us, asked us if we had seen anything and we had to fill in a load of forms.

“There was also a heavy presence police presence and tight border security.

“When we reached arrivals there were photographers everywhere. I thought at first someone famous was on the flight!”

Team-mate Greg Smith, (pictured left) also from Bishopbriggs, was greeted at the airport by a running hug from his relieved wife and young toddler daughter.

Scott said: “They were so glad to see him.”

And he added: “This won’t stop me going back to Paris. The Warriors match is to be rescheduled and I’ll be there to see it.”