Tuesday 10: Football jailbirds

Ollie Irish

7th, August 2007


Pennant%20court.JPGThis week’s Tuesday 10 looks at footballers who thought extra time was the outcome of a bad parole hearing. This list comes a bit too soon for Mr Joseph Barton, but he faces a maximum of five years banged up if he is convicted of assaulting former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.
1 Tony Adams
Arguably football’s most famous jailbird. The former Arsenal man spent two months in Chelmsford Open Prison in 1990 for drink driving after crashing his car into a wall. Adams redeemed himself sufficiently to skipper England at Euro 96, but was forced to tackle his alcohol problems soon after.

2 Lee Hughes
The ex-West Brom striker is currently doing time in Featherstone Prison for causing death by dangerous driving. Hughes has already agreed a deal to join League One outfit Oldham Athletic when he is released on 20 August. The 31-year-old has served three years of his six-year sentence.
3 Jermaine Pennant
Pennant was put behind bars for three months after planting his Mercedes into a lampost in Aylesbury, Bucks, in 2005 while on loan at Birmingham City. He told police officers who attended the scene that his name was Ashley Cole! Pennant returned to Birmingham after being released and (as if to make himself doyen of the modern football jailbirds) played with an electronic tag on his ankle for a while.
4 George Best
His struggles with alcohol are well-documented, and in 1984 he was jailed for drink-driving, assaulting a police officer and failing to answer bail. During his three-month sentence, Best showed off his skills for the Ford Open Prison team.
5 Duncan Ferguson
Nicknamed Duncan Disorderly, Ferguson served 44 days inside in 1995 after planting a Glasgow kiss on Raith Rovers’ John McStay while playing for Rangers. The Scottish striker had already moved to Everton by the time of his sentencing.
6 Jan Molby
Sent down for reckless driving in 1988 after overturning his car outside a nightclub. Perhaps a better lawyer could have proved that any vehicle containing Molby on one side is always susceptible to flip over! It was established that the amount of alcohol the Dane had consumed was for of a factor.
7 Mickey Thomas
There were plenty of drink-drivers to choose from for this list, but counterfeiters were a little thinner on the ground. Step forward Mickey Thomas. The Welsh international was sentenced to 18 months inside in 1993 for his part in a fake money scam. He once joked: “So Roy Keane’s on 50 grand a week. Mind you, I was on 50 grand a week until the police found my printing machine!”
8 Jamie Lawrence
Ex-Bradford City midfielder came into the game late, but it was out of necessity rather than because he was overlooked by scouts. He was banged up at 17 for theft, assault and robbery. Released a month before his 21st birthday, Lawrence was in trouble again six weeks later for robbery. This time he spent 26 months inside, but impressed non-league outfit Cowes Sports after scoring against them for the prison side. He was signed by Sunderland three months after his release in 1993.
9 Mick Quinn
The man who called his autobiography Who Ate All The Pies? was sentenced to 21 days in prison in 1987 after being caught driving while disqualified twice in three weeks. Quinn was given a warm welcome at Winchester Prison. On his first full day inside, the then Portsmouth striker was tripped at slopping out time by a fellow in-mate who shouted “Penalty, ref!” as Quinn and bucket went flying.
10 Tony Kay, Peter Swan and David Layne
Kay, Swan and Layne all did time for their part in the match-fixing scandal which rocked British football in 1964. The Sheffield Wednesday trio bet that their side would lose a match against Ipswich. But when Jimmy Gauld – the player who had set the fix up – sold his story to the Sunday People, they were left high and dry. All three were sentenced to four months imprisonment.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You’ve missed my favourite one!
    Former Arsenal fullback Peter Storey was fined for running a brothel, and later served time in prison for… well… a variety of crimes including being involved in a coin counterfeiting ring, car theft, and illegally importing porn vids.

  2. mof gimmers says:

    That Peter Storey one was from me incidentally.

  3. mof gimmers says:

    And another!
    Rene Higuita was imprisoned in 1993, after getting involved in a drug cartel kidnapping. Acting as a go-between for the drug barons Pablo Escobar and Carlos Molina, he was largely responsible for securing the release of Molina’s daughter by delivering the ransom money. He received $64,000 for his services, which breaks Colombian law as it is an offence to profit from a kidnapping. He was incarcerated for 7 months before being released without charge. Commenting on the case, he has stated that “I’m a footballer, I didn’t know anything about kidnapping laws.”

  4. Big Dave says:

    On his first full day inside, the then Portsmouth striker was tripped at slopping out time by a fellow in-mate who shouted “Penalty, ref!” as Quinn and bucket went flying.
    Talk sense please