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Striker Marlon King sent to prison and sacked by Wigan for sexual assault

29 Oct 2009 19:25:08

Striker Marlon King sent to prison and sacked by Wigan for sexual assault

King, 29, attacked the woman, breaking her nose, in London's Soho Revue Bar after she spurned his advances as he celebrated his wife's pregnancy and scoring a winning goal while on loan at Hull in December last year. "We have to follow the rules and regulations," said Dave Whelan, Wigan's chairman, after King was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court, "which means we will have to give him 40 days' notice that his contract will be cancelled. "He is absolutely sacked. We will not tolerate football players who get sent to jail for 18 months. As far as we are concerned, he is finished with football at Wigan Athletic." While the example of Lee Hughes, still playing for Notts County after spending three years in jail for causing death by dangerous driving, suggests King's football career may not yet be wholly over, his track record is such that his time in the game's upper echelons almost certainly is. Two years after leaving non-League Dulwich Hamlet to turn professional, King was sentenced to 18 months in prison while still at Gillingham for handling a stolen car, though his term was reduced to five months on appeal. Though he recovered from that punishment to earn a £950,000 move to Nottingham Forest and then a £500,000 switch to Watford, with whom he won promotion to the Premier League, King's career seemed to stall after leaving Vicarage Road for Wigan. Although Steve Bruce paid £3 million to make King one of his first signings at the JJB, and doubled his wages to about £40,000 a week, the striker found his chances limited and was loaned to Hull at the start of last season. There, too, King attracted controversy, first for allegedly butting team-mate Dean Windass in a Scarborough casino, then being banned from driving for reaching 106mph in a 60mph zone and finally reacting in "an unacceptable manner" when asked to be a substitute. The striker was sent home by manager Phil Brown and his loan terminated. Bruce immediately sent King out on loan again, to Middlesbrough, but the striker could do little to prevent their relegation, scoring just twice in 13 appearances. Roberto Martínez, Bruce's replacement, had offered King little playing time this season after signing Jason Scotland and the odds were heavily in favour of the striker being sold, or loaned out once more, in January. King's temperament has similarly affected his international career. He was sent home by Jamaica, missing the 2006 friendly with England at Old Trafford, after a "breach of discipline" and was, initially, banned from representing the country for two years by the Jamaican Football Federation, though the ban was later rescinded. Such a litany of controversies, capped by the disgrace of a second jail term during his professional career, makes King's chances of playing for another club upon his release at the age of 30, very doubtful. Marlon King factfile Born: Dulwich, South London, April 26, 1980 Age: 29 Jamaica caps: 13 Jamaica goals: 6 Former clubs Barnet, 1998-2000 Apps: 60, Goals: 14 Gillingham, 2000/03 Apps: 116, Goals: 44 Nottm Forest, 2003/05 Apps: 60, Goals: 12 Leeds, 2005 (loan) Apps: 9, Goals: 0 Watford, 2005/08 Apps: 86, Goals: 37 Wigan, 2008/09 Apps: 19, Goals: 1 Hull, 2008 (loan) Apps: 22, Goals: 5 Middlesbrough, 2009 (loan)Apps: 13, Goals: 2


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