The Hero Of Glasgow Airport And His Boots

Grace Higgins | March 19th, 2020

John Smeaton is known as being a Glasgow hero, and it’s all down to giving a terrorist good kick with his mythical boots. Working as an airport baggage handler he grappled with a terrorist suspect and ended up saving Glasgow Airport from a terror attack. He has now become an icon in Glasgow with many social media profiles dedicated to his deeds. In fact, the phenomenon is now being called Smeatomania.

When the media asked if John Smeaton had a message for potential bombers, he simply said This is Glasgow. We’ll just set aboot ye.” Sure the marketing department for Glasgow’s tourism industry that has spent the last 20 years trying to remove the image of the city being a mean place may have frowned at the sentiment, but the rest of Scotland and the world was enchanted. They had found their new hero.

You see Smeaton confronted one of the men from the 4×4 terrorist attack on Glasgow airport in 2007. They were fighting with police officers and Smeaton started to get a couple of kicks in. Flames were going in all directions but Smeaton was not fazed. He said that other folks were joining in and then some other guy banjoed him. The term banjoed is Scottish, it is slang for hitting someone as hard as you can.

The true extent of his heroism came out later when the story unfolded of him saving Michael Kerr. Kerr had bravely attempted to tackle one of the terrorists but they did not go down, he was rewarded with a broken leg and smashed teeth. He fell next to a burning jeep and thought he would die to the jeep exploding, but Smeaton dragged him to safety to ensure his life was saved.

The internet as expected has embraced the hero with a warm welcome. There are meme photographs circulating every one of Smeaton as a Jedi Knight, as Superman or as Bruce Willis in Die Hard. Or simply flying through the air performing roundhouse kicks with the words “This Is Glesga mate.” Even better, someone set up a way for you to buy a pint of beer for Smeaton so that he can go drink at the Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport. So far over 1,035 fans have taken up the offer and bought the local hero a pint.

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