Marlon King became the latest high-profile footballer to be jailed last October, when he was found guilty of sexual assault and affray, but he was released yesterday without so much as a boyfriend in tow after only nine months in the clink.
Of course this isn’t the first time that a footballer has found themselves incarcerated at Her Majesty’s pleasure, so here’s a list of some of those lucky geezers to have had a free abode for a few months:
Where do you start with this little scoundrel? To be fair to the law they gave him more chances than you’d give your ex-wife, and he has a charge sheet to well and truly be proud of. It includes a prison term of six months for affray and common assault, which he served 77 days, for an incident outside a McDonalds in 2008 – must have been something in the Big Mac. He has also assaulted two teammates, including Ousemane Dabo, who he left bloodied and unconscious. Barton somehow still, despite these convictions, plays in the Premier League with Newcastle United, and you can’t help but speculate as to who’s next? Ultimate face-off between him and Andy Carroll to watch out for in the coming season.
Nutcase rating: 4.5/5
It’s the fearsome central midfielder that you’d always like your club to sign and when they do you’re delighted. That is until they wind up in jail. Bolton signed Tofting in 2002 and by summer 2003 he was already languishing back home following an quarrel in ‘Café Ketchup’ in Copenhagen. The café owner saw just that, as Tofting head-butted him after the owner had teased him about his height, and asked him who Bolton were. Needless to say he wasn’t best pleased, and got four months in jail for it.
Nutcase rating: 3/5
Duncan FergusonYou were lucky if you went up for a header with ‘Big Dunc’ and didn’t come down with a bloodied nose. Just imagine Alan Shearer, without as many goals, and with more height and elbows. That’ll be the Scot. Ferguson holds the distinction of being one of the only players to have been convicted for an offence whilst playing. His 1994 conviction for an altercation with defender John McStay (not so much an altercation as Dunc headbutted him) landed him with a three-month prison stay, after which he refused to represent the national team again.
Nutcase rating: 4/5
Good as gold during his career – probably best known for being in the wrong place at the wrong time when Gazza decided he didn’t fancy Rome after all – but the ball well and truly dropped when his career ended. When a woman attempted to bant with the ex-Derby and Nottm Forest man, that he wasn’t good enough to play Man Utd he proceeded to give her a right old fashioned kicking and has since been reprimanded twice for a number of drink-related offences. He even cut off his electronic tag as he fancied a bit of a knees-up on the Costa del Sol. What are you playing at Gary?! Should have just become a pundit my man!
Nutcase rating: 2.5/5
Edmundo Alves de Souza Neto embodied everything you dreamed of being if you were a footballer. Brazilian international, scored bucket loads of goals, and had the party lifestyle to go with. At one point the Brazilian head-case pissed off animal welfare groups by having an entire circus perform in his back garden, followed by the infamous picture of him having a beer with his chimpanzee. He also has a record of one season receiving seven red cards, but the worst telling off he ever got from the law was a four-and-a-half year jail sentence which he appealed down to a seven-day suspended sentence. Maybe he got the judge drunk like he did with the chimp?
Nutcase rating: 5/5