A ‘suspended’ National League footballer is in Norwich Crown Court on a drug supply charge after being accused of being part of a conspiracy.
King’s Lynn Town’s 31 year old defender Rory McAuley has already been charged with conspiring to supply a class A drug and possession of criminal property.
He appeared before Norwich Crown Court via remote link on Friday morning, alongside 29-year-old Ismail Thompson, of Harsnett Close, Norwich, who is also charged with conspiring to supply a class A drug.
Exclusive: King’s Lynn Town defender Rory McAuley has been charged with conspiracy to supply a class-A drug and is set to appear at Norwich Crown Court later this month.
The 31-year-old has been suspended from all football activity by the Linnets. https://t.co/596ajzMQ4p
— Daniel Moxon (@dmoxon_) June 1, 2021
McAuley, of George Fox Way, Norwich, is currently on bail following an initial court appearance in May and he was suspended from all football activity by the Linnets last month just three days after the Linnets completed their debut National League campaign.
They endured a memorable 4-4 draw against Aldershot Town at The Walks Stadium, finishing the campaign in 21st place, picking up 31 points from 42 games played.
A statement released on the club’s website, and it said: “Rory McAuley has been suspended from all football activities at King’s Lynn Town Football Club with immediate effect. The club will make a future statement in due course.”
McAuley played a total of 17 times for the Linnets during the National League season, most recently in the 4-1 loss to Chesterfield on the 11th of May.
No pleas were entered during the court hearing on the 2nd of July and both defendants were conditionally bailed to re-appear before the court on the 27th of August.
However, a condition requiring both of them to report to a Norwich police station six days a week was lifted following an application by McAuley’s barrister, Jenni Dempster QC.
Before the National League footballer featured in court on a drug supply charge, fans reacted on him being ‘suspended’…
Luke Norman: Dealing class a drugs
Len Plain: Luke Norman don’t think he is only one. Ssssshhhhhhhh
Len Plain: Luke Norman, perhaps that’s why Lynn leak sooo many goals.
Antöny Statham: Silly man
Johnny Alflatt: Fuck me what happened to innocent until proven guilty
Chris Burton: Johnny Alflatt I think you should ask Kings Lynn football club they are the ones that suspended him Pretty dam quick Having said that you are right Innocent till proven guilty
Len Plain: Chris Burton best hear wot the player has to to say. But I’ll bet it “no comment” shame. Best always to come clean. Whatever the offense is, or not. Only saying. Some people like to keep things a secret though. But suppose eventually, like everything else, the truth will come out. Viva linnets
Brian D Cobbold: Chris Burton I don’t think the club had much option, considering the serious charges he faces.
@SuperSonnyCarey: Wtf 😅
@ForeverAYellow: Well this certainly doesn’t look good for him
In 2019, he gave an interview, stating there was points where he wondered if he’d ever enjoy football again after a tough time in life.
On the 8th of January 8 in 2017, the defender’s life – and his family’s – changed forever.
McAuley, who spoke honestly, said he and his mum discovered his sister’s lifeless body. A mum of two young boys, she had been murdered by her partner in their flat.
The details were too horrific to detail but McAuley wants this to be a story looking forward.
“It was a real traumatic experience,” McAuley says. “I was the one who first found her so I came off really bad. I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress – like soldiers when they come back from war – and I developed anxiety and depression – things I’d never had in my life before so I didn’t know what was going on. It’s real cliché, but Saturday afternoons and training, being with the boys, was something to get me back on track because I started to go down the wrong path for a little bit. I’d wallow in my own self-pity, but football got me back on track.”
McAuley said his girlfriend at the time was his backbone along with their two children.
Football gave him that release and a place to escape to. “I remember the first game back playing after it had all happened,” he says. “I was at Lowestoft and we played Harlow away. We won 2-1. I went in the changing room afterwards and cried my heart out. The boys came and gave me a cuddle.
“It’s those things, just to know everybody was supporting me and behind me, helped get my head back on track and to where I am now. I didn’t think that would be possible a year ago.
“I was in a dark place but now I’ve found peace in life and contentment. I’ve got my kids, my missus, we’re moving house – everything has fallen back into place and I couldn’t be happier.”
The family have previously been pushing for changes in the law for domestic violence victims, and raised money for a local charity whilst also donating toys.
McAuley said his battle with mental health has also changed his own outlook.
Hell of a season. Can’t wait to see what the next one brings ❤️ pic.twitter.com/QszDRulfH0
— Rory McAuley (@mcauley_rory) July 23, 2020
“Going through life you hear about people with depression, anxiety and these sort of things,” he says. “You understand to a certain degree, but until it happens to you, you never fully understand.
“It’s given me an appreciation for other people who go through mental health problems. I’ve played in some charity games for Squeeze Football (a Twitter account that celebrates grassroots football in the east while raising mental health awareness) and as a family we’ve raised thousands of pounds for a domestic violence charity in Norwich called Leeway – who help women get away from domestically violent partners.
“The only way I can see it is to turn a negative into a positive. If not it will eat you up. If something bad happens, you have to make something good out of it because if not you’ll be consumed by your own grief. So that’s what we’re trying to do. Focus on stuff that helps other people and brings joy – and I suppose that helps me as well, in a selfish way.”
It’s hard to know what is going through someone’s mind, just when his playing career looks to be back on track, another stumble in his playing days looks potentially on the cards.
Meanwhile, King’s Lynn Town recently confirmed the retained list for the new 2021/22 National League season.
The following players are under contract: Ross Barrows, Alex Brown, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Michael Clunan, Tyler Denton, Tai Fleming, Cameron King, Rory McAuley, Dayle Southwell, Paul Jones
Exercised option: Michael Gyasi
Offered new terms: Aaron Jones, Jordan Richards
Released: Alex Kiwomya, Sam Kelly, Ryan Jarvis
The Linnets have recently brought in centre back Pierce Bird, striker Junior Morias whilst also letting go of Sonny Carey who joined Championship newcomers Blackpool and Chris Smith after both players had both been under contract at The Walks.