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Ex-Man Utd, West Brom, Huddersfield player faces prison sentence

Ex-Man Utd, West Brom, Huddersfield player faces being handed a prison sentence over an assault, as warned by the court judge.

Former Premier League footballer Ronnie Wallwork has been told he could time behind bars after he admitted an assault charge.

The 43 year old pleaded guilty on Thursday to inflicting grievous bodily harm on Alan Mulholland on the 22nd of December 2019.

Co-defendant David Gardner, a 43 year old based in Newton Heath, Manchester, admitted the same charge.

Alex Langhorn, who was representing both men, said there would be a suggestion that a comment was made by the complainant that may have provoked or caused the incident, which is reported to have taken place in a pub.

Wallwork, wearing a flat cap, blue jeans, and smart shoes and green puffer jacket, only spoke to confirm his name, age and address.

No further details of the assault were disclosed in the brief hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

Addressing both defendants in the dock, Judge Tina Landale said: “Your guilty pleas will be taken into account in your favour but it is important that I have as much information as possible before I sentence you both so I am ordering a pre-sentence report.

“All sentencing options are open including custodial. I have not ruled anything in or out.”

Both of the males were bailed as sentencing was fixed for the 23rd of March.

The ex-Man Utd, West Brom player has been previously been handed a prison sentence in December 2011 for 15 months after he was caught selling on parts from stolen high-performance cars.

Police came across the illegal vehicle-breaking operation in where he is based, while investigating a string of unconnected armed robberies across Lancashire.

Preston Crown Court heard his “promising career” as a professional footballer was “tragically cut short” when he was the victim of a serious stabbing assault at a bar.

Clarke Carlisle, chairman of the Professional Footballers Association, said: “It is such a tragedy to see a promising life and career descend into these unfortunate and illegal circumstances.

“Ronnie has been offered the full support of the union previously, and we will continue to be there as and when he calls upon us.”

In 1998, Wallwork received a rare life ban from the game for grabbing a referee by the throat while on loan to Royal Antwerp in Belgium. The ban was later reduced to three years, with two years suspended.

The midfielder, who represented the Three Lions at under-20 level, joined the Red Devils as a trainee in 1993 but struggled to keep his place in the first team and was loaned to a number of clubs before he joined West Bromwich Albion in 2002.

He also spent time out on loan with the likes of Bradford City, Barnsley and Huddersfield before he moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 2008 where he made just seven appearances.

Wallwork was part of the Manchester United team who won the Premier League in 2000–01 as well as the Intercontinental Cup in 1999.

Individually, he was named Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year for 1995–96 and was West Bromwich Albion Player of the Year for 2004–05.

That was to be a high point in a career which was further interrupted in 2006 when he was stabbed by the ex-partner of his girlfriend.

He was given first aid by staff, before an ambulance arrived, before recovering in Manchester Royal Infirmary.

His footballing career eventually fazed out in 2008. Here he is scoring in West Brom’s 2-0 win over Man City…


Youth career
1993–1995 – Manchester United

Senior career
1995–2002 – Manchester United – 19 games (0 goals)
1997–1998 → Carlisle United (loan) – 10 games (1 goal)
1998 → Stockport County (loan) – 7 games (0 goals)
1999 → Royal Antwerp (loan) – 17 games (2 goals)
2002–2008 – West Bromwich Albion – 93 games (2 goals)
2004 → Bradford City (loan) – 5 games (2 goals)
2004 → Bradford City (loan) – 2 games (2 goals)
2006 → Barnsley (loan)
2007 → Huddersfield Town (loan) – 16 games (3 goals)
2008 – Sheffield Wednesday – 7 games (0 goals)
2014 – Ashton United
Total – 178 games (12 goals)

National team
1997 – England U20 – 4 games (0 goals)

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