Selby Town apologise for playing convicted woman beater

Reece ThompsonImage copyright
PA Media

Image caption

Before his conviction, Thompson played for a number of sides including York City and Boston United

A football club has apologised for fielding a player who had been jailed for beating up his girlfriend.

Following his release from prison earlier this year, Reece Thompson was taken on trial by Selby Town.

The striker, who was convicted of assault and grievous bodily harm, scored twice against Tadcaster Albion.

Selby Town said the decision to play Thompson, 26, on Wednesday had been “a serious error of judgement” and he would not be joining their squad.

In a statement, the non-league side said: “We wish to make clear that when including this person in our squad we were not condoning his actions or making light of his prior conviction.

“We accept it was a mistake to give the player a trial and wholeheartedly apologise for any upset it has caused.”

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In April 2019, Thompson appeared at Nottingham Crown Court where he admitted grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and criminal damage of property.

Thompson, who lived in Doncaster at the time, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison and given a restraining order lasting 10 years.

However, he was released early from jail and this week he was part of the squad which travelled to Tadcaster for a friendly match.

There were fans in attendance at the ground, as part of the FA’s phased and limited return of spectators.

During the game, Selby Town received criticism on social media for playing Thompson.

In a statement, issued on Thursday morning, the club added: “As a community football club we pride ourselves on being family friendly and as a club we take this very seriously.

“In this case a serious error of judgement was made and once again, we can only apologise for our mistake and make clear that the player in question will not be joining our squad now or in the future.”

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