Chris Maguire signs for National League club Eastleigh just months after opening up on he served a football ban after gambling on the game.
The 34 year old striker, spent much of his career playing in the EFL, but that came to an end in 2022, after being charged by the FA for breaching betting rules.
He was alleged to place 52 bets on football matches between March 2017 and February 2022, and was subsequently suspended by Lincoln City.
In September 2022, Lincoln and Maguire parted ways by mutual consent, with Hartlepool United announcing he was joining in the same month.
This signing was not completed, however, with their interim manager Keith Curle saying in October that the deal had been placed on hold until there was an outcome to the case regarding his bets on football matches.
Maguire and the club had agreed a contract which reflected the possibility of him being banned due to that case, but the PFA rejected that change to the standard player contract.
On 20 February 2023, Maguire joined Scottish Championship club Ayr United on a short-term deal until the end of the season, and have now returned to English football to sign for ambitious Eastleigh, who have since deleted their post announcing his incoming.
Eastleigh Football Club are delighted to announce that Chris Maguire has joined the Spitfires on a permanent deal.
The striker began his career in Scotland, more specifically, at Aberdeen where he made 131 appearances between 2005 and 2011.
He went out on loan to Kilmarnock in 2010 and scored four goals in his 14 games at the club.
His next move saw him make a move to Derby County for a short stint, making seven appearances before he went on loan to Portsmouth.
After his time on the south-coast, he made a permanent move to Sheffield Wednesday where he appeared 79 times, netting 18 times during his spell in South Yorkshire.
A short loan from Wednesday to Coventry City followed where he played three times and scored twice.
In 2015, Maguire moved to Rotherham United and went on loan to Oxford United before his move was made permanent despite not scoring in his six games in Oxfordshire. The faith was repaid when he scored 17 in 63 appearances.
He left Oxford United for Bury in 2017 where he made 24 appearances for the club before he signed a two-year deal with Sunderland. The 34-year old went on to make 101 appearances in which he scored 22 goals for the Black Cats.
The next chapter of his career saw him join Lincoln City where he made 34 appearances for the club before he moved to Ayr United and made 12 appearances.
Maguire has made 18 combined appearances for Scotland and has scored seven times for his country.
Chris Maguire scoring against his former club and running to celebrate in his old manager’s face 💀💀pic.twitter.com/BvfXu97HLy
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) January 12, 2022
David Beckham eat your heart out! 👀
Chris Maguire bends a peach of a free-kick in off the underside of the bar!👏 pic.twitter.com/dE4Ymu2w2I
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) January 13, 2020
Thoughts on this celebration by Oxford United’s Chris Maguire? pic.twitter.com/SjqRtpMr6c
— Dave O’Grady (@DaveOGrady1) August 22, 2016
He spent eight months of his career unable to play and wasn’t happy with the English FA’s handling of the disciplinary case which left him in wondering what was going to happen for so long.
Maguire was initially charged with placing 52 bets on football matches, admitting to placing one five-team accumulator at his local bookmakers.
An independent regulatory commission fined him £750 for ten breaches and warned him about his future conduct, with the Football Association appealing that sanction and, at another hearing in January, gave him a six-week ban backdated to November.
He said, as per The Scottish Sun: “There’s been no apology. That’s just the FA — they decide how fast or slow they want to do it.
“It’s their way or no way, which is disappointing.
“I was told it would be done quite quickly, so for it to drag on was difficult.
“It’s behind me now, though. I’m just focusing on getting back on the pitch and doing what I do best.
“It was such a tough period out and I’m grateful to be back playing football again.
“It just dragged on for months and that put teams off signing me. They didn’t want to take a risk in case I got a lengthy ban.
“Thankfully that wasn’t the outcome but it took longer than I wanted.
“I admitted to several breaches and put my hands up, but it dragged on for almost a year. It was draining.
“I was first made aware of it in April but I wasn’t charged until August.
“I waited from August until November to get a hearing, then when I got that they were not happy with the outcome and appealed it.
“That dragged on until the New Year, when I was given a six-week backdated ban.
“But I was still left without a club from the start of the season until January, which had a major impact.
“I’m human and everyone makes mistakes. I’m not the first player to do that and I won’t be the last.
“But you go through difficult times in your life. Being away from home, being away from the kids, it was a difficult period for me when I stupidly did that bet.
“I got an injury for the first time in my career and my head was all over the place.
“I regret it. To be out for so long for what I placed wasn’t worth it. It’s cost me a hell of a lot more.
“It was minimum what I bet. It was just more the fun side rather than anything else.
“It’s harsh but those are the rules. It’s crazy because every game you watch on TV is advertised by bookmakers and encourages people to bet.
“I’ve learned from it because it’s not worth the hassle.
“I got charged with ten bets in the end. They charged each team as a single bet, so it was two accumulators I got done with.
“It was tough being on your own every day. I’d drop the kids at school and then head to the gym.
“It is totally different being part of a team day-to-day.
“I had a spell training at Kilmarnock and I am grateful to Derek McInnes for giving me that opportunity.
“But I spent most of my time back in Aberdeen.
“Saturdays would be spent taking my youngest son Brodie to the Aberdeen games. He enjoyed it but it was a bit of a struggle for me.
“Now I have a great opportunity to be part of something special with Ayr and I want to make the most of it.
“I have the chance to reach a major semi-final at Hampden and those things don’t come around very often.”
Here’s how fans reacted as Chris Maguire signs for National League club Eastleigh after opening up on his football ban…
@davegurd33: Brilliant signing for Eastleigh that. Can see him doing bits there
@dannyodanny: Experience is good, good be valuable this season. Shame we let young players like brody Peart move straight from Basingstoke to Brighton with our links
@ImpGunner: Good luck with that one 🤣
@MarkBottomley15: Welcome to our family Chris 👊
@markwb_88: Quality signing by @EastleighFC 🤌🏽
@WhitmarshCollin: WOW, that’s a more than solid squad assembled 👏👏💙🤍⚽️✈
@ryanrd1905: What a signing!
@jmcclaf: Pretty good signing that 👍