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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Web Surfers Buy More Than a 1,000 Pints for Glasgow Airport Hero

There are more than 1,000 pints of beer purchased by well wishers around the globe waiting for John Smeaton at the Glasgow Airport Holiday Inn. He earned each and every one of them.

John Smeaton, 31, is a baggage handler at Glasgow Airport in Scotland. When Al-Qaeda linked terrorists drove a flaming Jeep into the Glasgow terminal on June 29, Smeaton was nearby on a cigarette break. Not for long. Smeaton took action when most others might have turned and run. Smeaton is credited with rushing to help a police officer who was being attacked by one of the terrorists.

After news of his act of heroism was featured in Britain and around the world the magic of the web took over. YouTube suddenly had videos of Smeaton uttering his now famous response to global terror: "This is Glasgow. We'll set about ya." Smeaton was proclaimed the Scottish answer to Jack Bauer, the lead character on 24, and the real John McClain of Die Hard fame. He was even called a Braveheart for a modern Scotland.

The people behind a racing website called JustGoFaster set up JohnSmeaton.com. It is a humorous effort to build the Smeaton legend and to thank the Glasgow man by buying him 1,000 pints.

Using PayPal to contribute $6.05 each, web surfers have responded by buying more than 1,000 pints in just a couple of days. There is no word on whether Smeaton plans to collect, but I doubt he will have to reach for his wallet if he wanders in to any pub in Scotland.

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