Criminal footballers: Right to return?

by Ralli on May 24, 2012

Gillian Nuttall, PR & Marketing Manager Gillian Nuttall, PR & Marketing Manager

Luke McCormick is to pick up where he left off it appears, and will once again enjoy the trappings of a footballer’s lifestyle.

In my view, the footballer existence is what led Mr McCormick to the steps of the court and ultimately to the gates of the prison he spent a short time in.

His fast car, his lavish lifestyle and the thought process that negated him from any kind of responsibility to the two beautiful little lives he snuffed out in 2008, is about to be handed back to him on a plate.

As a mother I cannot imagine what Mr and Mrs Peak have suffered since Arron and Ben were so cruelly taken from them but I do know that the game of football has a responsibility to this family.

It has a responsibility to keep people like McCormick away from the game that may have made him think he was invincible, away from the profession that provided him with everything he could ever want in life, apart from the ability to realise he could not and should not have got behind the wheel of his car on the day he killed Arron and Ben.

I want to laugh at the disingenuous statement of Swindon’s Jeremy Wray, but it isn’t funny, it is too sad to even raise a smile.

Mr Wray says he is “not in desperate need of a goal keeper”…. “They can help him by allowing him to come and train with them and put something back.”

Put what back, where, exactly?

A football club is not a place to be educating young drivers as to the stupidity of drinking and driving – schools, colleges, young offenders institutions, inner city deprived areas, that is where he should be handing down his advice – not from the training ground or the goal mouth for 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon.

In 1969, my father took me to my first football game, Oldham Athletic – I loved it and I went for more years than I care to remember – home and away.  A number of seasons ago Lee Hughes came out of prison having done a very similar thing to Luke McCormick and signed papers with Oldham Athletic.   I put my season ticket in the bin and I think I have been to two games since.

I fully accept that Mr McCormick has served his time, will be back in society and must make a living somehow.

What I struggle with however, is that it has to be in football, the very profession that might have led him to believe that he was somehow invincible and it was somehow alright for him to do what he did on that fateful day.

If he wants to “put something back” he could get an ordinary job and work for an organisation like Brake in his spare time – now that really would be putting something back.

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