Ex-Newcastle United player handed ban from all football stadiums in England


Ex-Newcastle United player handed ban from all football stadiums in England

An ex-Newcastle United academy player, who received his debut contract under the late Sir Bobby Robson, has been prohibited from entering any football ground throughout England.

Breaking through from being an academy graduate to playing for senior teams is definitely a challenging task for players, and there are numerous reasons why it does not happen for many of them.

At the top level of the sport, it is especially difficult. Manchester United, for example, have featured academy graduates in their matchday squads for more than 80 years, but it does not guarantee that every player will succeed.

The fact that a player has a professional contract at a Premier League club does not guarantee their future success, as demonstrated by a former Newcastle player.

Andy Ferrell was granted his first professional contract by legendary manager Sir Bobby Charlton in December 2002 at St James' Park, but he never got to make his debut for the senior team.

After two years, he was released from his contract in the north east, and subsequently signed for then-Championship club Watford, where he played in two senior matches.

However, the 39-year-old's life has hit another bump in the road and, according to the Daily Star, following an incident outside of Newcastle's ground, ahead of a game against Chelsea, Ferrell found himself banned from football grounds.

This was a part of Ferrell's attempt to rebuild his life after he was sentenced to four years in prison in 2013, following charges of conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.

Speaking eight years ago, the former midfielder told the Chronicle, "I'm not a criminal, I'm just a normal lad. I got caught up in that and now it's something I have got to live with.

"I did throw everything away, but I'm not going to sit here and feel sorry for myself. I have made a mistake, there's no one else to blame, but I want to get my life back on track.

"Until the day I die, Newcastle United and football will be my life.

“I had always been a fan and a season ticket holder so I was living every Geordie’s dream.

"For me football was all I had ever known, and I was one of the fortunate ones who got to play professional. It was an absolute dream come true.

"I was a normal lad from a council estate in Newcastle who was training with Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy, and Bobby Robson was my boss."

Ferrell played lower down the football pyramid for the likes of Hereford United, Kidderminster Harriers, York City and Blyth Spartans.

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