Anorak News | Sam Main Fights Alan Pollock In The Game Of Sympathies

Sam Main Fights Alan Pollock In The Game Of Sympathies

by | 17th, December 2011

SAM Main versus Alan Pollock is the dinner party chat of the day. Sam Main is the student who was forcibly thrown off a Scotsrail train for having the wrong ticket. Alan Pollock is the man who did the throwing.

The Dail Mail headline tells its readers:

Hounding of a first-class hero: The banker who threw a foul-mouthed student off a train could end up in court

Yeah. Alan Pollock is banker. In this Game of Sympathies, that might be a game changer.

The Mail’s Andrew Malone set a scene like Alan Pollock’s defence brief addressing the jury:

Relaxing on the train after a 12-hour day at the office, all Alan Pollock wanted — along with his fellow commuters — was for the journey to pass peacefully and painlessly.

In the Game of Sympathies, Malone has picked up a the Sympathetic Back Story card.

While his young children would be in bed by the time he got home, Mr Pollock was looking forward to a glass of wine with his wife as he headed back from his job at an investment bank in Edinburgh.

That’s the Family Card being played.

But his evening was about to take a dramatic turn as the train’s white-haired ticket inspector roused one young man from apparent slumber in the carriage.

That would be the brusque white-haired ticket inspector? And get a load of that “apparent” slumber. The young man is Sam Main. He has no wife and kids. Although chances are he wanted the journey to pass peacefully and painlessly.

Bleary-eyed and fumbling in his pocket, the youth could only produce the ticket for his outbound trip to Edinburgh earlier that day. He apparently had no return ticket for the trip home.

The youth. Not “the passenger”. Not the hard-working student with diabetes. The youth.

The Daily Express reports on what Sam Main’s father Lenny had to say:

“This big guy has basically thrown him head first on to the platform. Sam landed on his face and has a big graze. He’s tried to get back in the carriage to get his bag. He’s diabetic and all his things were in that bag – his medication, his university notes, his money, his mobile phone and his iPod. But he’s been thrown off again. This man has to be charged and have his day in court. He had no right to do what he did.”

Andrew ‘Sam’ Malone, who does not mention young Main’s bag, sees the video of what occurred next:

Amid a volley of foul-mouthed abuse directed by the young passenger at the elderly ticket inspector, the train is delayed at a station with its doors open, for several minutes.

Well, at least Sam Main is not ageist. And was it really a volley of abuse? And let us know if you hear the elderly ticket inspector say “please”.

Other passengers mutter and fume as the young man in a knitted hat — later identified as 19-year-old student Sam Main — fails to produce a valid ticket.

Knitted hats are the knew hoods.

Main, who had been out drinking after finishing an exam, is heard cursing as he insists he’s paid the correct money, and will not get off.

Main did not wait until he got home for a glass of wine. He had one with his friends after a hard-day’s studying.

As other passengers watch, including a mother with a group of young children, the student is heard repeating to the inspector that he has shown him his ‘f****** ticket’ and again refuses to get off.

Again the Family Card is played. Because the Game of Sympathies rules it says all families are good.

In a loud voice, the inspector then warns the student that other passengers will not be happy unless he pays or gets off the train, allowing the journey to continue.

Why did he do it in a loud voice? Was it in an effort to reach an understanding with Sam Main? Ir was he trying to draw others in to his team, to form, for want of better phrase, a mob with a mob mentality?

The guard repeats: ‘I’ll sit here all night, pal. I’m getting paid for this but they (the passengers) will start moaning. You’re off now. Other folk will start (to get unhappy). Why should they pay and you not?’

As we’ve said before, this might be Sam Main’s cue to say, “Because they’ve been beaten to a pulp by the system that bleeds them dry”.

Clearly angry, Main retorts: ‘But I have paid — I will sit here all night.’

It’s a stand off. The guard could just let the train pull away and see if Main will pay for the fare with an onboard ticket machine. He could make him pay at the destination, so allowing all the passengers to leave on time. But he doesn’t.

Sitting further down the carriage, Alan Pollock, 35, has listened to every word. As the minutes tick by, and the train remains stationary, he decides he’s had enough. On film, Pollock, more than 6ft tall and heavy set, can be seen approaching the inspector and asking: ‘Right? Off now?’

A one-man mob has answered the call.

The inspector says ‘yes’ and Mr Pollock moves in, pulling the student to his feet by his jacket and shouting: ‘Off!’


The banker — wearing a rugby top and casual jacket having changed at work — is then seen pushing the student out the train door.

Criminal assault?

Main falls to the ground and is then blocked by Mr Pollock from getting back on.

Who’s the thug?

As the train pulls away, a few passengers clap and cheer Mr Pollock and one passenger shouts: ‘Cheers, Big Man.’

One passenger is happy. One is on the platform nursing his wounds.

Malone then picks his team:

One comment posted on the internet was typical of many people’s response: ‘If nothing had been done, the children witnessing the incident would simply have seen that people who have no respect for authority or the rules of society have nothing to fear and can do what they want.’

Instead they noted that brute force works. Violence is the answer.

Another added: ‘People supporting him (Main) are probably those Guardian-reading, iPhone-sporting liberals who are responsible for murderers getting five years in a cushy hotel.’

Sam Main is not a murderer. But that’s a fair point about i-Phone users. Experts say the camera phone used to record the incident was most likely a Nokia 3210, the kind of phone used by a man who would shun the Guardian for kindling and tuck his vest into his Y-fronts.

Anyhow, it turns out that British Transport Police are investigating. Pollock might be prosecuted. Yep, just as Emma West was prosecuted for being a thug on public transport, allegedly. Also, the ticket inspector has been put on annual leave while the matter is investigated.

Malone has spoken with Alan Pollock’s wife Avril:

“Alan’s a very private person. He doesn’t want to make any comment. He doesn’t want to get involved in any row.”

Oh slap me around the chops with an irony stick.

“He just doesn’t want the attention. He doesn’t want to say anything at all.”

The man called Big Man by his fans is letting his wife talk for him.

James Pollock, Big Man’s father, adds:

“I have told Alan he did the right thing. Do you turn your face the other way when something has happened, if somebody gets stabbed in the street?”

Only, Sam Main did not stab anyone. Pollock wasn’t corageous. He picked a fight he could easily win. That is not courage.

“It’s very out of character for Alan — he must have been pushed to the limit. I was a bit disappointed no one got up and helped him.”

If that’s his limit, he may need help. The Daily Record reprots:

Andreas “Hawk” Schoyen, UK director of crimebusters Guardian Angels, said: “We would definitely like Alan to join us. We run a training programme which would help him to develop the correct skills to better handle situations like the one he found himself in. I have watched the footage on YouTube and I’d say Alan’s intentions are good but that he could do with some conflict resolution training.

“We could help him develop the physical skills and negotiation skills he needs. The Guardian Angels strongly believe in and applaud members of the public who dare to care about their community by ­intervening and peacefully resolving conflicts on public transport. Citizen’s arrest is our last resort when dealing with a conflict ­resolution. If such action needs to be taken, it should be done using minimum force and in accordance with the law.”

The Mail continues:

“The inspector wasn’t capable of putting the boy off the train. The inspector gave Alan permission to do it. If the inspector said no, he would have sat down.”

The Inspector could have called the British Transport Police to pick Sam Main up at the next stop.

“This (sort of thing) happens just about every other day. The train fares are so high because of the number of fare dodgers.”

No. The fares are high because the system is broken.

James Pollock has more to say. He wonders if Sam Main is fit to study at Heriot-Watt University, where he is in his second year:

“I’ll be wondering what the Heriot-Watt principal will say if that’s somebody representing his university.I don’t want to ruin his career, but yobbish behaviour can’t be accepted.”

And that’s it in a nutshell, Mr Pollock.

Posted: 17th, December 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (15) | TrackBack | Permalink