Footballers seem to have everything; money, cars, houses, fame, but all it takes is one moment of madness to lose it all.
Here at Rush Football, then, we’ve decided to take a more serious tone and have a look at three footballers who have served, or are currently serving, time in prison:
Wales international Ched Evans was in his prime, he had just been named in the League One Team of the Year after scoring 29 goals in 36 league games and was drawing interest from a host of Championship and Premier League teams. His football career seemed destined for the highest level, but in May 2011 this all came crashing down. Evans along with Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald were arrested on suspicion of the sexual assault of a woman in Rhyl, Wales.
It was just under a year later that Evans was convicted of rape and sentenced to 5-years in prison while McDonald was acquitted of the same charge. After serving half of his sentence Evans was released, with his career ruined he set about trying to clear his name. Two years on from his release Evans was acquitted of rape and subsequently signed for League One Chesterfield United, before returning to former club Sheffield United for the start of the 2017-18 campaign.
Adam Johnson is possibly the most notable footballer to have been sentenced to prison in recent times. In March 2016, the former Middlesbrough, Manchester City and Sunderland winger, commanding a salary of 60,000-a-week, was sentenced to 6-years in prison for one count of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming.
The offences took place in December 2014, in the same month he scored the winning goal in the Tyne-Wear derby. Since his conviction, he has had two appeals rejected and currently resides in HM Prison Moorland in South Yorkshire.
In July 2010, Bradford City midfielder Gavin Grant was ordered to serve a minimum of 25-years in prison for a murder he committed in May 2004. The former Gillingham, Millwall and Wycombe player was convicted along with two others of the murder of 21-year-old Leon Labastide in North-West London.
Just three years prior to this conviction, he was cleared of the 2005 murder of Jahmall Moore who was shot dead in Willesden, London. In 2015, his appeal against his 25-year sentence was rejected, meaning Gavin Grant, now 33-years-old, will be eligible for release in 2035.
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