Manchester United's Ryan Tunnicliffe in drink-drive ban

Ryan Tunnicliffe (left) on his first team debut
Image caption Ryan Tunnicliffe (left) has played one first team game for Manchester United, against Newcastle United

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe has admitted being nearly twice the drink-drive limit when he crashed his Range Rover into a van.

Tunnicliffe, 19, of Clemshaw Close, Heywood, received an 18 month driving ban after pleading guilty at Bury Magistrates Court.

The player was also fined £800, with £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

The ban could be reduced by four months if Tunnicliffe attends a drink-drive rehabilitation course.

Presiding magistrate, District Judge Paul Richardson told Tunnicliffe: "You are a well-paid athlete and the fine reflects that. It is a reflection of your income."

Club 'very disappointed'

Tunnicliffe was told to take his hands out of his pockets before the hearing started.

Caroline Patrick, prosecuting, said his vehicle left the road and went on to a footpath before hitting the van which was knocked into the wall and the wooden garden gates of a house on Green Lane, Heywood at about 14:15 BST on 13 October.

Chris Proctor, defending, said: "My instructions are that he had consumed alcohol the evening before and unfortunately, in an error of judgment on his part, he thought he would be below the legal limit and he was able to drive.

"Generally he is a very sensible young man. He is a professional footballer and this incident happened in an international break in the calendar.

"He had some drinks with his family. He generally does not tend to drink alcohol because of his footballing commitments.

"The third parties in this case, his family and club, are very disappointed at what has happened."

The unattended Ford Transit van was shunted 5m (16ft) into the stone wall of a house in the incident.

Image caption Ryan Tunnicliffe admitted driving with excess alcohol

Tunnicliffe's front seat passenger, a friend, received minor injuries.

'Alcohol smell'

The Range Rover was written off at a cost of £30,000.

Tunnicliffe phoned the police from the scene shortly after the crash.

A police constable, who attended, noticed the player's breath smelt of alcohol.

He provided a positive breath test at the scene and then gave a reading at Bury police station of 62mg/100ml - the legal limit is 35mg.

The judge told Tunnicliffe: "I appreciate what is said on your behalf that you did not drink in daylight hours on that day.

"I think you are genuinely contrite about that and I am going to give you full credit for your guilty plea and that you had the courage to phone the police yourself."

The midfielder made his Manchester United debut against Newcastle United in the Capital One Cup last month. He was on loan to Peterborough United last season.

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