Car accident news
02/07/2007

Jailed footballer set to make controversial comeback

It has been revealed that Oldham Athletic have made a controversial move to sign disgraced footballer Lee Hughes.

31-year-old Hughes is currently serving a prison sentence after being convicted of causing death by dangerous driving following a 2004 car accident that left one man dead and several more with serious personal injuries.

Striker Hughes, who was a West Bromich Albion player at the time of the road accident, fled the scene of the car crash but handed himself into police the next day.

Originally sentenced to six years behind bars, former goal machine Hughes is due to be released from jail this summer and League One club Oldham are now reported to have captured his signature.

The former Coventry City and Kidderminster Harriers forward has been playing for prison team Featherstone FC in the Staffordshire County League and is sure to receive a hostile reception from opposition fans when he returns to Football League action.

Following the car accident that saw his Mercedes CL500 plough into a Renault Scenic, Hughes was banned from the road for ten years and one of his injured victims was reported to have been considering consulting personal injury solicitors about making a compensation claim against the red-headed footballer.

Aware of the potential problems with signing the player, Oldham Athletic director Barry Owen released a statement saying, "Oldham Athletic does not condone what happened and we are very sympathetic towards the family of the victim. However, Lee Hughes is now nearing the end of his sentence and he has paid the price for what occurred.

"As far as the club is concerned, Lee deserves a second chance and we consider this a top-class signing. We would ask supporters and the general public not to pass moral judgement."

There have been rumours that Hughes has converted to Islam during his time in prison but the nephew of one of the men injured in the 2004 car accident has blasted the 31-year-old's decision to sign for Oldham.

Writing on a web blog, the relative said, "When he is released, he should do the decent thing and shy away from the public spotlight, ply his chosen trade abroad should he so wish.

"The vision of Hughes trotting out at Boundary Park will bring anger and grief back to those people most affected by his idiocy."

For more information about this controversial issue, or to see how Oldham progress during the coming season, go to www.oldhamathletic.co.uk.

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*Where replacement vehicle costs can be recovered from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. Where this person is untraceable or uninsured, or where there is a dispute over liability, a replacement vehicle cannot be provided.