By Brett Gibbons

PALMA
REPORTS that UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown received “six of the best” during his schooldays in Scotland have brought back painful memories for a former pal.

Monro Bryce, who went to school with the PM back in Kirkcaldy during the 1960s, winced when he recalled the punishment handed out by the pair's disciplinarian headmaster Robert Adam.

Mr Brown revealed to a television programme about how he tried to sneak off to watch Scotland play Italy in a key World Cup qualifying football match in 1965.

The headmaster found out about the boys' plan to play truant so they could watch the game on TV and dished out the violent punishment to the future politician and the rest of his gang.

The Prime Minister said he was punished with the fearsome-looking Lochgelly Tawse - a two or three-forked leather belt that was traditionally made in the town of Lochgelly near his home in Fife. Until the 1980s it was widely used as a tool for corporal punishment.

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