5 English players who served prison sentences, and why

On Sunday, 30th of January, 2022, the news of Manchester United player Mason Greenwood assaulting his girlfriend Harriet Robson, broke on social media.

James Cotterill

Calling him out through her pages, Robson posted picture evidence of the blood and bruises she got from the physical assault Greenwood inflicted on her. The series of posts the former made have now been deleted.

With Robson alleging that the 20-year-old Premier League star caused her bruises and other serious bodily injuries, the player has become a subject of debate among football lovers, activists, and other societal stakeholders.

While many people are calling United Kingdom (UK) authorities to investigate the incident, others blamed the footballer for not learning from others that suffered serious consequences after criminal allegations were levelled against them. Below are five English footballers who have played in the Premier League, but at a point, had their careers suspended to serve prison sentences.

Described as a Premier League hardman, he served no less than 77 days in prison during his stay with Newcastle United. This happened after he was convicted for common assault and affray.

Prior to his conviction, Barton had been caught on CCTV punching a man in the face in Liverpool City Centre. This incident was recorded in spite of the fact that he was already under the microscope after he engaged his teammate in a scuffle, and a taxi driver had alleged that he criminally damaged his properties.

Famous for his stint with Sunderland and Manchester City, the 12-time England international bagged a total of six years imprisonment after being convicted for engaging a teenage fan in sexual activity. He admitted to kissing his victim but didn’t go further.

Although renowned for his legendary career with Arsenal, the hard-in-the-tackle centre-back has a prison record known to the football community home and abroad. At the time he was struggling with alcoholism, Adams served 58 days in prison after being convicted for drink-driving.

When he was 19-year-old, the English international spent two weeks in prison for failing to pay taxes for his two automobile properties. "I did say I would never ever come to a place like that again. I knew I had to start doing the straight-and-narrow right thing. That was it,” he said in 2016 as he recalled the 1982 incident.

In a 2006 FA Cup game, the footballer who was playing for Barrow at the time, punched Sean Rigg of Bristol Rovers, an incident that left the latter with a double fracture of the jaw.

The punching, which was experienced by supporters of both clubs, didn’t only earn Cotterill a temporary ban from professional football, but later earned him a four-month prison sentence.

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