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Selby FC U-turns over Reece Thompson signing amid sponsor loss

image copyrightPA Media
image captionReece Thompson was convicted of assault and grievous bodily harm in 2019 but was taken on trial by Selby Town in 2020

A footballer convicted of domestic violence will not be signed by a club that initially said he deserved a "second chance".

Selby Town FC had said Reece Thompson had "served his sentence" for beating up his girlfriend and could be signed.

The Ministry of Justice however said the player was still on licence, prompting Reeds Rains estate agency to pull its club sponsorship.

The non-league side then announced Thompson would not be signed after all.

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Chris Moffat, branch manager for Reeds Rains in Selby, said: "In light of this recent news, we have decided to withdraw our sponsorship of Selby Town FC."

Thompson was convicted at Nottingham Crown Court in April 2019 of assault, grievous bodily harm and criminal damage after beating up his girlfriend.

He was jailed for three years and four months and given a restraining order lasting 10 years, but was released from prison early.

Earlier this year he was taken on a trial by Selby Town, prompting criticism from fans who said his signing would send the wrong message to abuse victims.

The club apologised but said he had "served his sentence" and could sign for the club.

However, it backtracked following Reeds Rains' announcement and confirmation from the MoJ about his status on licence.

"We have listened to all of the comments and Reece Thompson will not be signing for Selby Town Football Club," a club statement said.

'Fans' uproar'

Fans reacted angrily saying the club only took the decision not to sign Thompson when sponsors pulled out.

One tweeted: "Selby Town actually doubled down on their decision despite the fans' uproar, it was only when sponsors started pulling out that they backpeddled, shameful of them".

Ex-York City and Manchester United player Jono Greening tweeted when he thought the signing was going ahead that he hoped "the fans boycott the games".

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Related Topics

  • Selby
  • Domestic abuse

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