Goalkeepers Are Different

Everything you've ever wanted to know about
goalkeepers and a little bit more

I Fought the Law

Bestie, Mooro, Tony Adams, even Pelé, have spent time behind bars - although in Pelé's case it was as a prisoner of war in the film Escape to Victory! - and when it comes to landing themselves in trouble, goalies are just as vulnerable as their outfield colleagues and a fair few goalkeepers have been arrested over the years. Some were innocent; others weren't quite so squeaky clean… However, quite a few sought to protect and serve.

Rough Justice

Alan RoughWhile seeing out his playing days with Ayr United in 1990, former Scottish International goalkeeper Alan Rough found himself in hot water after walking out of the local Safeway's supermarket with a packet of beef that had yet to be paid for. He was released after being held in police custody for a couple of hours and the charges were eventually dropped. But the damage had already been done. He found himself splashed all over the front pages of Scotland's national press and the former Partick Thistle and Celtic player found himself at the mercy of opposing fans. To the tune of My Darling Clementine, and to the delight of many, they started singing 'Where's the mince beef, where's the mince beef, where's the mince beef Alan Rough, it's in your pocket, in your pocket, in your pocket Alan Rough'.

Painting a pretty picture

In a bizarre case of football imitating art (literally), former Chelsea 'keeper Peter Borota was somehow managing to carve out a half decent career as a painter until it was discovered that all the paintings he tried to pass off as his own were in fact stolen, receiving a six-month prison sentence for his trouble. You can just imagine what that did to the egos of the critics who, up until then, had heaped lavish praise onto the Yugoslavian custodian…

All's fair in glove and war

In 1982 Norwegian international Roy Amundsen took the law into his own hands and attacked a match referee during a Second Division clash. Upset at some of the official's decision, Amundsen launched himself onto the hapless ref and left the poor chap with two broken ribs and severe bruising. The stroppy stopper was banned from the game for two-and-a-half years as a consequence and given a suspended 60-day jail term.

Straying out of his area

Colombian international René Higuita found himself behind bars in 1993 after becoming mixed up in a drug cartel kidnapping. Acting as a go-between for drug barons Pablo Escobar and Carlos Molina Ypes, El Loco played a major role in securing the release of the latter's daughter by delivering the ransom money to Escobar. A delighted Molina gave Higuita $64,000 as a thank you gift and the popular goalkeeper was considered a hero for helping to release the young schoolgirl.

However, under Colombian law it is an offence to make a profit from a kidnapping and Higuita was thrown into gaol. He was released seven months later without ever being formally charged or tried after going on hunger strike but that seven-month stay robbed him of any hopes he may have had of appearing in the 1994 World Cup Finals.

Getting in a bit of throwing practice…

Millwall goalkeeper Tony Warner got his Lions' career off to a flier after South Wales Police charged him on two counts relating to an incident during the side's opening day clash of the 1999/2000 season at Cardiff City. Warner was charged with causing actual bodily harm after allegedly throwing a bottle into the crowd that had initially been thrown onto the pitch by Cardiff fans. Ironically, Warner later joined Cardiff City after leaving The Den.

Dopey Sod

After failing a random drugs test in 1990, Italian goalie Angelo Peruzzi tried to wriggle his way out of trouble by claiming that he had taken the weight-watchers' pill Lilopill to help him lose weight. He insisted that the drug had been given to him by his mother to help him shed the pounds he had put on after stuffing his face silly following a UEFA cup victory. However, Peruzzi's argument was undermined by the fact that Lilopill doesn't contain Fenermina - the banned substance he tested positive for. As a result, the disciplinary committee didn't believe a word he said and banned him for a year.

Drunk and Disorderly

Portsmouth's fainting goalkeeper, the late Aaron Flahavan, found himself on the wrong side of the law after going on an all-day drinking binge with Pompey team mate Rory Allen. The pair were arrested at TGI Fridays, near Fareham, Hampshire, and ordered to pay fines of £800 for swearing at police. A court heard they had drunk 25 pints, plus spirits, between them after a attending a club function. Their club also failed to see the funny side of the incident and fined them both two weeks wages.

Staggered, dopey and domesticated

The night before his wedding to model Sarah Jarrett, former Manchester United keeper Mark Bosnich was arrested outside a strip club after having one drink too many and getting into an altercation with a press photographer. The Australian keeper was later sacked by his next club, Chelsea, after testing positive for cocaine during a random drugs test and was then questioned by police following a bust-up with his then girlfriend, Sophie Anderton.

Kicking and screaming

Another Manchester United goalie to fall foul of the law was Fabien Barthez, who found himself under investigation after kicking a water bottle in frustration in a game against Leeds United. The water bottle flew into the crowd and hit an unlucky spectator behind the Frenchman's goal.

Trouble and strife

Murcia keeper Javi Fernández was arrested in November 2004 after his badly beaten wife of just three months went to police to file charges against him for repeated physical and psychological abuse. Fernández missed a Spanish Cup tie after police detained him on the day of the match.

Boy Racer

In 1999 Pele's son, Edinho, was found guilty of manslaughter after causing the death of an elderly motorcyclist during a race through the streets of Santos with another car which hit the victim. The former goalkeeper was given a 'semi-open' six-year prison sentence. He was arrested for a second time in 2005 on suspicion of drug trafficking.

Unable to resist the charms of a lady

West Brom 'keeper Russell Hoult had to appear in court after being arrested by police for kerb-crawling in Derby's red light district while he was with the Midlands' outfit. The then 27-year-old goalie was questioned, released on police bail, and summoned to appear in court the following month. He was arrested just two miles away from County's Pride Park stadium.

Throwing it all away

One in a MillionEsmond Million, in many ways, was a victim of circumstance. Part of the betting syndicate that rocked English football in the early Sixties, the Bristol Rovers goalkeeper was due to be paid £300 to throw a match against Bradford Park Avenue in April, 1963 but instead threw away his career and never made a penny. In debt following his move from Middlesbrough, Million had failed to find a buyer for his bungalow up North and was trying to hold things together when he received a mysterious phone call asking him to throw a game in return for money. Tempted by the offer, Million agreed to the proposal and received £50 in advance. Unfortunately for him, his team mates played a blinder against Bradford and Rovers were 2-0 up before Million had even touched the ball. He managed to concede two soft goals before half time but in the second period the Bristol defence stood firm and the game finished 2-2. Million posted back his advance and waited for the consequences. They weren't long in coming and at training the following week, Rovers manager Bert Tann accused his goalie of throwing the game. Million confessed and was reported to the FA. He was eventually charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act, found guilty and fined £50. Three weeks later he was banned from football for life. Ironically, Million found a buyer for his bungalow a week after the Bradford game…

Throwing it all away, part two

Unlike Million, Dick Beattie was imprisoned for his part in the same betting scandal. The then St. Mirren goalkeeper found his name splashed over the pages of the Sunday People in April 1964 after he was incriminated by ringleader Jimmy Gauld in interviews with the newspaper. Beattie's performance for Portsmouth in an FA Cup Third Round tie against Peterborough United in 1961 was called into question after a bad mistake gifted Posh the lead while another uncertain performance ironically for Peterborough in a game against QPR was also questioned. He was found guilty at his trial and sentenced to nine months and banned from football for life.

Getting away with it

England keeper A.D. Bailey played so badly in a League game against Nottingham Forest in 1908 - he let in 12 goals - that he was accused of taking a bung. He was cleared after investigations revealed that the poor goalie was suffering from a massive hangover resulting from a heavy drinking binge at a friend's wedding two days previously.

Not a betting man?

Former Vietnamese international goalkeeper Ngo Viet Trung was arrested and jailed for running an illegal football gambling ring during Euro 2004. At the time of his arrest, the one-time Thua Thien-Hue and Binh Duong goalkeeper was accepting bets for the semi-final game between Portugal and Holland at his home in Dat Lat in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

It's good to talk

Some breeches of the law are less serious than others. Some are just down right stupid. Take the case of the phantom goalkeeper who was booked by a referee after he refused to hang up on a mobile phone call.

The incident took place in Kent's amateur Medway Sunday League just before the start of a match between Chatham Riverside and the Co-op Social Club in December 1999. As players from the opposition became annoyed at the delayed start, the referee walked up to the goalkeeper and asked the Chatham custodian to end his call. The player refused and carried on chatting, only stopping to give his name and shirt number to the ref who promptly booked him. The keeper was subsequently fined and suspended but while his case was being heard at the disciplinary panel it emerged that he wasn't even registered and should not have been on the pitch.

The keeper was fined £20 and given a 28-day suspension, but since he was playing under someone else's name, officials don't know his true identity. To make matters worse, this fine custodian walked off in the second half because it was "too cold and wet". Unsurprisingly, Chatham were thumped.

Passport to hell

Nigerian goalkeeper Uche Akubuike was arrested and detained by South African authorities at Johannesburg's International Airport in September 2004 after question marks were raised over his visa. Akubuike was on loan with Premiership side Silver Stars at the time and was preparing to fly home to speak to his agents after the club decided to make his move permanent but ended up in an immigration centre awaiting deportation after being classed as an illegal immigrant.

Get 'em while they're hot

Goalkeeping odd-ball John Burridge found himself on the wrong side of the law while manager of Blyth Spartans. The much-travelled keeper was convicted and fined for dealing in counterfeit leisure wear with the prosecution's case relying on video evidence of the Blyth players dressed in some of Budgie's "hot" gear before a Cup game against Blackpool. Burridge pleaded poverty and went off to coach the Oman national team.

Held to account

Former Kidderminster Harriers and Worcester City goalkeeper Darren Steadman found himself up in court in January 2004 charged with two offences under the Theft Act after dishonestly retaining £980,000 belonging to Habitat founder Sir Terence Conran. This wasn't the first time Steadman had been in trouble with the law. In 1999 he was found guilty of dishonesty over financial irregularities involving a restaurant and subsequently jailed

Astonishingly, this didn't prevent Worcester City from signing him up on a free transfer and the jailbird 'keeper was granted day release in order to make his debut in a reserve game against Telford United.

From Russia with gloves...

Legendary Hungarian goalkeeper Gyula Grosics was once arrested by the country's communist regime on charges of treason.

It's a kind of magic

Cameroon's goalkeeping coach Thomas Nkono was arrested before Cameroon's African Nations Cup semi-final against Mali by Malian policeman at pitchside in 2002. Police suspected Nkono of having thrown a gri-gri (black magic charm) onto the playing field. The law and African football authorities agreed with them and banned the former Cameroon international for a year.


Playing away from home

Peter Shilton is a football legend - 125 caps for England, World Cup semi-finalist and an MBE to boot. But on September 25 1980 he fell foul of the law after being caught in a compromising position with Tina Street, wife of the irate Colin Street. Mr. Street had discovered the pair in the keeper's jaguar on a dirt track behind a Nottingham racecourse and when they refused to open the car doors he called the police. The police duly arrived and in his haste to get away from the scene of the crime, the popular goalkeeper wrapped his car around a lamppost. He later gave a positive breath test and, according to Tommy Docherty, asked for sixteen other offences to be taken into consideration!

Get off my land...

One of the nine players arrested in the La Manga Scandal that rocked Leicester City in 2004 was goalkeeper Danny Coyne. However, while three of his team-mates were being charged with the serious offence of sexual assault, Coyne was arrested for the less newsworthy crime of trespassing...

Free Willy

Following the final whistle that confirmed Swansea City's promotion to League One at the end of 2004/05 season, goalkeeper Willy Gueret - who was sitting in the stands - was arrested by police following a complaint by stewards and led away in handcuffs. The French custodian had allegedly been trying to join in the celebrations with the Swansea fans amid chaotic scenes at the end of the League Two game against Bury. Gueret was released without charge, blaming the incident on over-zealous policing by Greater Manchester's finest!

War criminal

During the Second World War, former Estonian international goalkeeper Evald Mikson became the leader of Tallin's facist organisation, Hestapo, after the Germans occupied the country. He fled to Sweden in 1944 before settling in Iceland and becoming an Icelandic citizen in 1955. He was later found by the Israeli government at the end of the 1980s and they tried to deport him to Israel to face trial for alleged war crimes. But Miksond died before any possible deportation.

Forgive me Delilah

Scottish Under-21 goalkeeper Craig Samson was arrested by police and detained overnight on the eve of his side's European Under-21 Championship match against Slovenia after an incident at a Kilmarnock nightclub. The Kilmarnock goalie, who was on loan at Queen of the South at the time, had broken a curfew imposed by manager Rainer Bonhof with nine others in order to go clubbing. Samson was ordered to pay £300 to charity - along with the other culprits - and banned from the Scotland squad for three games.

Take my breath away

Very few goalkeepers have actually been arrested while on the field of play but Sri Lankan goalie Damith Dayawansa can lay claim to being one of those few. The New Youngs player was taking part in a Sri Lankan FA Cup quarter final against Air Force - a military team - when he was arrested for deserting the very same military unit. The game was abandoned amid scenes of chaos after armed servicemen surrounded the keeper and Dayawansa - who had been instrumental in New Youngs run in the Cup - ended up with a 90-day term at Welikada Prison. Ironically, Dayawansa's brother, Saman, was the goalkeeper for the Air Force side in the same match.

Leaving on a jet plane

In September 2004, the Ugandan national football team found themselves a goalkeeper short for a crucial World Cup Qualifier against Burkina Faso after reserve keeper Hamza Muwonge was arrested at Abidjan airport in Ivory Coast and subsequently deported by the Ivorian authorities, who claimed that the 22-year-old did not have the correct visa in his passport to travel to intended destination.

Six years later Muwonge missed an African Nations qualifying game in March, 2010 after being arrested by his neighbour - who happened to be a member of the country's police force - for digging a trench in the fence that the two men shared on their property!

Air rage

Another goalie who found himself in trouble when flying was China's national keeper Liu Yunfei, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting a flight attendant in Hong Kong. The player was arrested with his Tianjin Taida teammate Wang Xiao, but the charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence.

The Flying Dutchman

Following the Second World War, Dutch side Ajax - like many teams in Europe - were in deep financial trouble and were struggling to make ends meet. As a result, they had no kit or equipment until goalkeeper Gerrit Keizer flew to London to pay a visit to his former club Arsenal and on hearing the Amsterdam club's plight, The Gunners famously donated a set of kits and some footballs to the Dutch side (which they proudly wore until Keizer's wife mixed the kits up in the wash and turned the sleeves pink). However, the entrepreneurial Keizer wasn't finished there and continued to fly to and from London, bringing back consignments of football kits to seemingly meet the growing demand in his native country. However, in 1947 he was caught trying to smuggle a substantial amount of foreign currency in a set of footballs by Dutch customs and received a six-month prison sentence, plus a fine of 30,000 guilders, for his troubles which brought his playing career to an abrupt end.

Papers not in order

Zambian Goalkeeper Evans Chewe was one of six Caps United players arrested by the Zimbabwe Department of Immigration at Harare International Airport in March 2006 for failing to produce the correct work permits. The Zimbabwean club had just returned from Morocco where they'd been involved in the first round of the CAF Champions League when the six were detained by authorities. Although later released, Chewe and his teammates faced deportation unless their club paid the relevant fees to get the permits processed.

Crossing the line

Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc caused a stir up in Glasgow at the beginning of the 2006/07 season when he made a sign of the cross in front of the Rangers fans then inflamed matters by making obscene gestures at them. As a result he was issued with a caution by Strathclyde Police for a breach of the peace, which in turn led to the Roman Catholic Church condemning said legal action and the Polish international becoming the centre of attention for a number of weeks!

Bending the truth

In 2005, Paraguay's extrovert keeper José Luis Chilavert ended up being sentenced to six months in prison in France after he was found guilty of falsifying documents relating to the compensation he was entitled to for ending his contract with Racing Club de Strasbourg. This wasn't Chilavert's first brush with the law, either. Nine years earlier he was given a three month suspended sentence for hitting a stadium steward while playing for Velez Sarsfield.

Rubber Bullets

In March 2007, Spartak Moscow's Aleksei Zuev was arrested by Russian police after threatening a man with a rubber-bullet gun and driving while under the influence. Blood tests confirmed his blood/alcohol levels were over the limit and he was charged with being drunk and disorderly.

Smoke 'em if you've got 'em

Spanish legend Ricardo Zamora was imprisoned on a number of occasions during his colourful career - including a spell during the Spanish Civil War. But in 1920, while travelling back from the Summer Olympic games in Antwerp, the keeper was caught trying to smuggle Havana cigars into the country. He was arrested, imprisoned and fined for his actions.

Suspicious Hands

In September 2007, Armando Pantanelli was implicated in a betting scandal by La Sicilia newspaper in Italy, who alleged that the keeper had placed a number of bets on two games that Catania subsequently lost, thanks partly to mistakes made by Pantanelli. Italian authorities later investigated the claims.

Trading Places

In 1991, former New York Cosmos and Boston Minutemen goalkeeper Shep Messing pleaded guilty to Federal Wire Fraud when was serving as a corporate officer in a securities firm. He was sentenced to five years probation as a result.

Failing to see eye-to-eye

In February 2006 former Sunderland and Newcastle United goalkeeper Lionel Perez found himself up in court after touchline fracas during an FA Cup tie between Stevenage Borough and Northampton Town the previous December. TV cameras caught the goalkeeping coach poking his fingers into the eyes of his Northampton counterpart and despite being found guilty by the Football Association and receiving a two-match touchline ban the matter was persued by the police. Perez pleaded guilty to an assault charge and was handed a community service sentence of 100 hours, as well as being ordered to pay £200 in damages and a further £70 in costs.

Beware Greek goalkeepers bearing gifts

Saint Etienne and Ukraine goalkeeper Maxim Levytsky was arrested by French authorities in 2001 after he returned to Paris to give evidence to the French National League in regards to the scandal over false passports. The then Spartak Moscow keeper was accused of illegally obtaining a Greek passport in order to play in France.

Party Animal

Mexico goalkeeper and captain Oswaldo Sanchez was arrested in a Chicago hotel in the summer of 2008 after celebrations got out of hand following a 4-0 friendly win over Peru. Sanchez was held for two hours after a group of players partied in a room, disturbing other guests, and had to pay a bail of $1,000 for his release.

Hard Timms

In 2008 former Manchester City trainee goalkeeper Ashley Timms was jailed for twenty months after being found guilty of attempting blackmail of an unnamed Premiership football. Timms had threatened to go to the papers with an alleged sex video of the player unless he coughed up £15,000 but the player in question went straight to the police, who promptly arrested Timms.

What a wally...

Bristol City's Dean Gerken was arrested in the early hours of the morning one Sunday in October, 2009 on suspicion of indecent exposure after he was spotted relieving himself against a wall. He was given an on-the-spot fine by police for using threatening words and behaviour in public.


Fiji international goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau was denied entry to New Zealand before a World Cup qualifying tie in 2008 by customs officials because his father-in-law, a military police officer, had been involved in a coup in Fiji two years previously. The match was postponed after Fiji refused to play the game without their first-choice keeper.

Missing from action

Flamengo goalkeeper and team captain Bruno Fernandes surrendered himself to the authorities in July, 2010 after Rio police issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the disappearance of his former lover. Fernandes's wife and several of his friends were also arrested after the player's cousin told police that the woman had been abducted and murdered. Shortly afterwards Flamengo announced the club had suspended the keeper's contract as a result of the murder investigation and the club lawyer would no longer act in his defence.

Cop that!

In January 2011, India international goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya was detained for more than twelve hours in a police station in Kolkata following an alleged assault on a traffic cop after being pulled over for allegedly violating a traffic signal. The Churchill Brothers custodian was released on bail, pending an enquiry!


Manchester United's £18 million signing David de Gea found himself in a sticky situation with the security guards of the Tesco Express in Altrincham, Greater Manchester in September 2011 after allegedly scoffing a Krispy Kreme doughnut then leaving the store without paying for it. The keeper managed to talk himself out of further trouble by claiming he had left his wallet behind in his car...

Stacking up appearances...

Hibernian's Graham Stack found himself in a spot of bother with the law in November 2011 following a fracas in London nightclub. He was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and later bailed pending further inquiries. It was the first time the former Arsenal keeper had been involved in a punch-up - while on loan with Belgian club Beveren, Stack was attacked by a group of opposition fans and punch one of his attackers before riot police moved in to remove them from the pitch.

Disgruntled poster

But for a strange quirk of fate, Tom Farquharson, who kept goal for Cardiff City in the 1927 FA Cup Final, may never have become a professional footballer. The future Irish international was forced to leave Dublin during the Irish War of Independence by his father after he was arrested for pulling down British Army posters in St. Stephen's Green with his friend and future Taoiseach, Sean Lemass.

Target Man

Former Monterrey keeper Omar Ortiz was arrested in January 2012 on suspicion of helping a gang of kidnappers pick out wealthy targets. The goalkeeper, who was capped by Mexico earlier in his career, later admitted the charges, citing "financial problems" as the cause of his descent into crime after he was banned for two years after testing positive for illegal substances. If convicted, he could face up to 50 years in prison.

Not quite a Gregorian Chant...

In November 2011, Rangers goalkeeper Grant Adam was arrested and charged with a sectarian breach of the peace after a boozy night out in Glasgow. The youngster was celebrating his call-up to the Scotland Under-21 side when he was alleged to have made derogatory remarks while being ejected from a nightclub. He was fined £500 for his troubles.

Temple of Doom?

India's national goalkeeper Subrata Paul was arrested in October, 2011 after an altercation at a temple in Calcutta. The Prayag United custodian was reportedly drunk and reported for causing a disturbance before an argument broke out with the temple's security guards. Paul was eventually released on bail after direct intervention from India's Minister of Sport. Madan Mitra.

Can he fix it?

Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Madaric's career was prematurely cut short in February 2011 after he was found guilty of match-fixing while playing for NK Medimurje the previous season and sentenced to seven months in prison.

Bailing out

At the end of 2012 San Lorenzo goalkeeper Pablo Migliore was arrested by police in Argentina on suspicion of harbouring a suspected murderer. The suspect in question was a member of the Boca Juniors ultra movement barra brava and was believed to have killed a rival member of the same gang. Migliore, a lifelong fan of Boca, reportedly helped the gang member go on the run and spent 40 days in prison before being released on bail in May 2013. He later joined Dinamo Zagreb after his contract with San Lorenzo was cancelled by mutual consent on the promise he would return for any legal proceedings.

Punch drunk

In January 2009 Liverpool youth team goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin was arrested following a bar brawl that saw teammate and England international Steve Gerrard also held in custody by the police. He was charged with affray and sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, and ordered to do 150 hours of community service. he later left Anfield for Shrewsbury Town without playing game and is currently with Accrington Stanley.

Fixed odds

In February 2012, Piacenza goalkeeper Mario Cassano was arrested for his part in a match fixing scandal that rocked Italian football. Following an investigation Cassano was found guilty and banned for five years.

Shot to fame

In December 2013 Amazulu goalkeeper Mandla Sangweni, was arrested for allegedly shooting his uncle over an argument about witchcraft during a party to celebrate his 26th birthday. The South African keeper, who was struggling to retain his place with his club side at the time, was later charged with attempted murder.

Banned on the Run

In March 2014, former Leeds United goalkeeper Eddie van Boxtel was arrested by Irish police, after being on the run for six years for drugs related offences. The Dutch-born goalie, who once saved an Eric Cantona penalty in a game against Manchester United, carved out a career in the League of Ireland after spending just one season at Elland Road.

Bailed to appear in goal

When Port Vale signed Walter Smith from Manchester City in October, 1923, they probably did not expect him to have have such an immediate impact. On the morning of his debut for the club, he was arrested on assault charges following a complaint from the chambermaid at the hotel where the team had been staying. Released on bail, he was allowed to turn out for Vale later that day on the condition that a detective attended the game to ensure the keeper did not flee but probably wished he hadn't after he conceded six times. Smith was found not guilty of all charges the following month and went on to enjoy a successful career with the club.

Hands Solo

United States international Hope Solo was arrested in June 2014 on suspicion of assaulting her sister and 17-year-old nephew during a disturbance at the family home in Seattle during a party. Solo, who plays for Reign FC in the professional women's league in the States and has two Olympic Gold medals to her name, was held without bail on two charges of domestic violence assault in the fourth degree and was allegedly intoxicated when arrested by Police.

By a Whisker

Cliftonville goalkeeper Conor Devlin was convicted of assault in August 2014 after he knocked out Glentoran's Jim O'Hanlon with a single punch. The incident occurred in a Belfast nightclub after the Glens' winger allegedly wound the keeper up by repeatedly pulling his beard. Devlin, a former Manchester United reserve player, was fined £400 and ordered to pay a further £400 in compensation.

Swearing the truth

A Scottish non-league goalkeeper was brought before Kirckcudbright Sheriff Court in February 2011, charged with a breach of the peace for allegedly shouting and swearing at an opponent before a game. Vincent Parker, who keeps goal for South of Scotland league side Threave Rovers, was accused of committing the offence at the club's Meadow Park ground prior to a cup tie with Dumfries side Crichton in September, 2010.

Smooth Stalker?

In May 2013, former Aston Villa and Barnsley goalkeeper Matthew Ghent was handed a ten-week suspended prison sentence for harassing his ex-girlfriend after she refused to go on holiday with him. Ghent was also giving a restraining order and had to pay £750 in compensation. When sentencing Ghent, Deputy District Judge Elizabeth Harte branded the former goalkeeper a "true stalker". This was Ghent's second brush with the law, having been jailed for three months for assaulting and staking another former girlfriend.

Car Trouble

Abe Waddington, who played for Halifax Town as well as the England Test Cricket team, often found himself in trouble with the police as a result of his love of cars. In 1938, he was fined £5 for assaulting a policmen and using obscene language after a request to dip his headlights. He was later fined and banned for a year after being found drunk, attempting to start his car.

Big Mouth Strikes Again

Goalkeeper Mohd Anis Faron Ahmad was sacked by his club, Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta'zim, after swearing at a policeman following a defeat at the City Stadium in Penang in April, 2015. The 33-year-old was charged by a local court for the outburst and could face face five-years in prison if found guilty.

But is it art?

In 2010 Stephen Bywater found himself on the wrong side of the law after installing what he described as a "work of art" in his front garden. The installation that featured a graffiti-daubed toilet block and horse box with a blow-up doll and a sex toy as its centrepiece was described as an eye-sore by neighbours who accused the Derby County goalkeeper of harassing them in connection to a land dispute between the two. Bywater claimed he had taken up art as a hobby but after the police were called and some stern words from his club, the goalkeeper backed down and removed the piece from his front garden.

100 Not Out

German goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel spent 101 days in a Singapore jail after been arrested on allegations of match-fixing while playing for Geyland United. The charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence but the experience altered the keeper's way of thinking and led to Pfannenstiel embarking on several fund-raising initiatives for charity, including living in a igloo and playing a game in Antarctica with Diego Maradonna.

Lost Weekend

Zimbabwe international Washington Arubi spent a weekend in police custody after being arrested for defaulting on a maintenance payment of $4,000. The 30-year-old University of Pretoria goalkeeper later pleaded guilty to the offence to magistrates.

Olympic Downfall

The Palestinian Olympic football team suffered a blow to their hopes for Gold in London 2012 when their goalkeeper Omar Abu Rwayyis was arrested by Israeli forces after he allegedly fired on an army patrol as part of a coordinated attack.

Indecent Proposal

Persepolis and Iran goalkeeper Sosha Makani's 2016 got off to a poor start after he was arrested in January having allegedly broke Iran's strict cyber laws when pictures of him posing with two women in photographs on social media. Although the images were considered innocuous by most, the country's authorities deemed them indecent. Makani was later bailed while the investigation continued.

Pilgrim's Choice

The late Alan Nicholl's time at Plymouth Argyle came to something of a premature end after he failed to heed a warning from the club regarding his conduct after not one but two brushes with the law. Having been fined £150 by magistrates following an incident in a Torquay nightclub, he was arrested the following year for drink driving after a collision with a taxi in 1995.

Double Jeopardy

Poland's Edward Madejski had the misfortune of being arrested not once but twice during his career. His first brush with the authorities came during the Second World War when Madejski was arrested by the Gestapo after participating in illegal football tournaments in Poland (all sporting activity was banned by the German authorities during their occupation). He was placed on death row for a couple of months but lived to tell the tale. Then in 1956, he was arrested on trumped up charges of espionage and sabotage by the ruling Communist government and spent three years in prison, although he was later exonerated of any wrong doing.

Maltese Cross

In April 2016 a warrant was issued for the arrest of Malta international goalkeeper Justin Haber after he failed to turn up to court after being charged with insulting a traffic warden on the island. Magistrates found the Hibernians FC keeper in contempt of court and fined him €250.

Family Affair

Another international goalkeeper in trouble with the law in 2016 was ex-Cameroon international William Andem, who was arrest in July by police officers following an argument with a family member that escalated to the point where the one-time Boavista keeper produced a gun and threatened to shoot his relative. He was released on bail while officials investigated whether or not he possessed a permit for the firearm in question.

The Italian Job

The scandal that hit Italian football in 2011/12 saw a number of goalkeepers implicated and eventually banned from playing. Vicenza goalkeeper Paolo Acerbis was one of the few arrested by police but escaped jail after entering a plea bargain although he didn't escape a ban. Benevento's Marco Paoloni was also arrested and was accused of being a key player in the entire scandal, allegedly fixing a number of games involving Cremonese, his previous club and Benevento. He even went so far as deliberately doping his teammates at Cremonese in order to fix the result of one game against Paganese. He eventually received a ban totalling nine years.

Life Begins at Forty

In September 2016, German goalkeeper Marco Kwiotek was arrested after conceding 43 - yes, 43 - goals while between the sticks for SV Vonderort in a match against local rivals PSV Oberhausen. The reasons for the arrest were unknown at the time but the suspicion was that Kwiotek was taken into custody for questioning about possible match fixing. PSV were 35-0 up at half-time but it should be pointed out that Vonderort only had eight players on the pitch at one point.

Deal or No Deal

Mauritius international goalkeeper Joseph Leopold was arrested by authorities in September, 2016 for drug dealing. A team from the island's Anti-Drug Smuggling Unit raided the home of the 27-year-old ASPL 2000 keeper in the capital Port Louis and found large quantities of heroin on the property plus equipment and other paraphernalia. Days earlier Leopold had kept a clean sheet as his team won the Mauritian Charity Shield, unaware police had been tracking his movement for some time.

Shiver Me Timbers

Portland Timbers' post-season did not get off to the best of starts in October, 2016 when goalkeeper Jake Gleeson was arrested alongside his captain Liam Ridgewell following a car crash. Gleeson had been involved in the initial incident and had called Ridgewell for a lift home after his car was deemed unroadworthy. Both were arrested for driving under the influence. Gleeson was also cited for reckless driving, reckless endangerment and refusing to take breathalyser tests. Both Portland players posted $7,500 bail for their respective charges with a court date on November 16.

Fizzy Bop

East Germany and BFC Dynamo goalkeeper Werner Lihsa struggled to cope with a serious drink problem after retiring from football in 1975. An alcoholic, he killed his second wife while drunk, beating her with a champagne bottle before strangling her. However the Berlin District Court recognised Lisha's drink problem and sentenced the goalkeeper to seven years, reducing his case from murder to manslaughter after determining he was not responsible for his actions.

The Maltese Fighter

Former Malta international keeper Reggie Cini, who was capped 23 times by his country, ended up in court in May, 2005 after an incident in a nightclub in Paceville. He was arrested along with a local police sergeant after threatening three people and was later charged with breaching the peace, drunk and disorderly behaviour and using obscene language!

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Chelsea reserve goalkeeper Jamal Blackman found himself in trouble with the law in Sweden while on loan at ÖFK back in May, 2016. Blackman, who had warmed the bench at Stamford Bridge as understudy to Peter Cech, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in the early hours of the morning, just hours after his side had lost 5-0 to GIF Sundsvall.

Houston, We Have A Problem

Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric was arrested in November, 2017 after allegedly head-butting his girlfriend during a domestic argument. Despite his attorney's pleas of innocence, was suspended from all team activities and barred from the team's training facility.

App Hazard

Two Turkish goalkeepers found themselves on the wrong side of the law in the Summer of 2017, accused of being supporters of the failed coup attempt that took place in Turkey in 2016. The first to be arrested was 37-year-old Kastamonuspor goalkeeper Oğuzhan Bahadır, who was taken into custody in July after allegedly using the ByLock mobile app on his phone, an action that authorities believe indicated membership of the Gülen movement, who were behind the uprising in 2016.

The following month, former Turkey international keeper Ömer Çatkıç. who retired from the game in 2012, found himself in similar hot water after using the same app. The two keepers are not alone, with an estimated tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen having either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.

Carry On Cabbie

In February 2018, West Bromwich Albion reserve goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and teammates Gareth Barry, Jonny Evans and Jake Livermore thought it would be a good idea to steal a taxi from outside a fast-food restaurant in Barcelona in order to return home to their hotel. The police were called and the four players were questioned but no charges were brought against them after the taxi driver was reunited with his cab. The players apologised unreservedly for their actions for causing any distress!

Charity Case

Albion Rovers goalkeeper David Haddow found himself before the local sheriff charged with a breach of the peace following an altercation between players from Albion Rovers and Airdrionians in April, 1890. The two sides were facing each other in a Larkhall Charity Cup tie when Airdrionians' Robert Donaldson squared up to Rovers' Thomas Traquair when Haddow rushed in to break up the fight and ended up being charged with assault after accidentally striking Donaldson. However, the charge was found to be not proven and Haddow walked free and was later capped by Scotland.

The French Connection

Tottenham goalkeeper and World Cup winner Hugo Lloris was charged with drink driving after a routine patrol pulled him over in central London. The Spurs captain failed a roadside breathalyser test in the early hours of the morning in August, 2018 and was subsequently banned for 20 months.

These are not the 'Roids you are looking for...

Former Coventry City and Celtic goalkeeper Magnus Hedman found himself in trouble after he was arrested by police at a Stockholm petrol station in 2009 on suspicion of drinking driving. While being searched officers found an illicit substance that turned out to be illegal steroids and the keeper was later convicted of substance abuse. In 2016, Hedman found himself in trouble again and was fined 2,500 Swedish krona after being found guilty of having sex with a prostitute.


Scottish goalkeeper Dick Beattie's career came to a grinding halt when he was implicated in the British Betting Scandal of 1964. Beattie, who had enjoyed spells with Celtic and Portsmouth, fell under suspicion for his poor performance for Peterborough United in a math against Queens Park Rangers and was found guilty along with eight other players. He received a nine-month prison sentence and quit the game upon his release.

Caged Fighter

Supermarine goalkeeper Kent Kauppinen was sent to prison in March 2012 after being convicted of assault after he launched an unprovoked attack on a couple in Chippenham after a drinking spree on New Year's Day. Kauppinen, who was once on the books of Liverpool and Bristol Rovers and also enjoyed a part-time career as a cage fighter, was jailed for fifteen months after breaking the jaw of his victim.

Twelve Angry Men

Former Bangkok United and Thailand international goalkeeper Weera Koedpudsa and Navy F.C. stopper Narong Wongthongkum were among twelve individuals arrested by the Royal Thai Police in February 2017 on suspicion of match-fixing. After being found guilty, they were both banned for life.

For Whom Bowtell Tolls

Steve Bowtell's spell with Dulwich Hamlet was marred by his arrest in the dressing room after a game against St. Albans in the early 1980s. Bowtell, who made his professional debut with Leyton Orient at the tender ager of 17 before enjoying a lengthy spell with Margate, allegedly jumped over the fence at the end of the game to confront a fan who had been goading the keeper and ended up striking an innocent supporter. Although the matter ended up in court, the goalie was found not guilty and no further action was taken.

Hitting Out

Horsford United goalkeeper Aaron Wick was arrested by police after he punched the referee during a Norfolk Sunday League game against Feltwell United Reserves in March, 2019. Wick was charged with wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent and due to appear at King's Lynn magistrates' court to answer the charges.

Ticket to Ride

FC Groningen goalkeeper Sergio Padt was arrested in September 2018 for alleged aggressive behaviour on a train after he reportedly boarded without a valid ticket. After being confronted by conductors, Padt verbally abused one and attempted to strike another, breaking the employee's watch in the process. Padt was arrested by police after the train stopped at Kropswolde station.

For Bettor or Worse...

In May 2019, Tractor Sazi and Iran goalkeeper Mohsen Forouzan was arrested along with his wife, model Nasim Nahali, for illegal betting activity following a number of high profile mistakes during a match against Sepidrood in the Iran Professional League in April. The keeper was suspended by his club and then from all all football-related activities by The Disciplinary Committee of Iran Football Federation while an investigation into his performance took place.

Tunnel Vision

Former Ghana international goalkeeper Richard Kingson was arrested along with twenty-one other offenders for flouting traffic regulations in July 2019. The keeper's arrest was part of a campaign tackling drivers that ignored road markings and other signs while using the East Lego tunnel in Accra by local police.

Doncaster Belles...

In 2003 former Doncaster Rovers and Scunthorpe United goalkeeper Mark Samways was arrested after being caught kerb-crawling in Doncaster's red light district. Samways, who was playing for Frickley Athletic at the time, was fined £150 and ordered to pay £40 costs after pleading guilty.

Shooting Star

In March 2011, Panama international Óscar McFarlane was jailed for shooting someone during a fight in San Miguelito. He was found innocent of the charges after spending 20 months in prison. He had previously been arrested for the illegal possession of firearms.

This Charming Man

Sao Paulo goalkeeper Jean Fernandes was arrested and charged with battery by Florida police after assaulting his wife in a hotel room in Orlando in December, 2019. In January 2020, the player had his contract suspended by the club until the end of the year as a result of the accusations.

Woking Class

Woking's Hans Segers almost got his collar felt during an FA Trophy Third Round tie against Dorchester in March 1997. After reacting to taunts from home fans, a policeman who was patrolling the ground walked onto the pitch to remonstrate with the goalkeeper and warn him about his future conduct. After a short hold as a result of the incident, Woking went on to win the game 3-2.

Repeat Offender

Former Bolton Wanderers, Millwall and England goalkeeper John Sutcliffe became rather familiar with the magistrates of Lancashire during his playing career. His first arrest came in March, 1889 when Sutcliffe and a friend were arrested for using 'obscene' language and threatening to punch a policeman, resulting in a fine of ten shillings and ordered to pay costs. He was arrested for a second time in February 1897 for an alleged assault on his then wife, a fact that was reported in the Daily Mail, but the charges were later dropped after the accusation was withdrawn by his spouse. Sutcliffe's third and final run-in with the law came in May, 1905 when he was brought before Bolton magistrates court charged with maintenance arrears to his now ex-wife. On this occasion he was ordered to pay £5 with immediate effect and 10s per week towards the arrears.

Enjoying a Spa Day

Ex-ISL goalkeeper Nidhin Lal, who played for Mumbai, Minerva Punjab and Chennaiyin, was arrested in January 2020, after a police raid on a spa parlour in Goa revealed that the player had been running an illegal prostitution racket and had been living off the earnings that the women in his "employ" made.

Golf War

Italian goalkeeper Mattia Perin, who was once tipped to succeed Gianluigi Buffon, fell foul of the law when he was caught driving under the influence of alcohol back in 2014 after being stoped during a routine patrol. The goalkeeper, who was playing with Genoa at the time, argued with police and had his Volkswagen Golf confiscated, who warned him he faced a fine and the loss of his licence.

Collision Course

Former Argentina and Celta Vigo goalkeeper Pablo Cavallero, who played for his national side during the 2002 World Cup, was arrested in February, 2021 and charged with manslaughter after he was involved in a car crash that led to the death of a 57-year-old man. Cavallero had been travelling home from Velez Sarsfield's 2-0 win away to Argentinos Juniors when the crash happened near near Etcheverry in Argentina. After an investigation, the charges were later dropped.

Daisy Chainsaw

Back in July 2022, German police were called to the home of former Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann after he was caught on a security camera damaging his neighbour's garage with a chainsaw as a long-standing dispute with a neighbour escalated over a newly-built garage that blocked his view of Lake Starnberg in Bavaria. Apparently Lehmann's antics caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Border Controls

When Bruce Grobbelaar first arrived in England, with a view to possibly joining West Bromwich Albion, he spent his first few hours in the county in jail after WBA manager Harry Weir was delayed on his way to Heathrow Airport to meet the player. Immigration officials, suspicious that he lack an address in the UK, locked him up until Weir arrived to vouch for him.

Public Nuisance

Israel goalkeeper Boris Kleyman was arrested by Greek officials in April 2023 on public indecency charges, having allegedly assaulted a Belgian student in Athens. The Volos golakeeper was picked up alongside team-mate Rodrigo Escoval and also found to be in possession of illegal substances and was fired from his club contract almost immediately.

Police Dragnet

Back in 1973, a World Cup qualifier between Zambia and Zaire was brought to a halt during the second half when home fans, angry at being 2-0 down, invaded the pitch and surrounded Zaire's goalkeeper, Kazadi Mwamba, convinced that he was using some form of witchcraft to protect his goal.They were eventually removed by police but not before Kazadi was searched by officiers who, having found nothing, were ordered off the pitch by the referee, who simply restarted the match with a drop ball.

Harbour Master

Syrian goalkeeper Mosab Balhous found himself in trouble with the country's secruity forces in August 2011 and was arrested on charges of supporting the opposition movement that led a series of pro-democracy proterests and harbouring rebel fighters along with possessing a suspicious amount of money. He disappeared for a year before re-emerging as first choice for the national side in 2012.

Rechargeable Battery

Former Sarajevo and FK Željezničar goalkeeper Slobodan Janjuš was arrested for domestic battery by the St. Petersburg Police in Florida back in December 2009.

Stealing a Living

Belgium and Standard Liège goalkeeper Gilbert Bodart was arrested in August 2008 for his involvement in a robbery at the CDomain of the Caves of Han, a tourist attraction in Rochefort where he was working in the marketing department. The former goalie was alleged to have been an accomplice to the crime, having a left a window open for the perpetrators after finding himself in financial difficulty.

Travelling Light

Former Asante Kotoko goalkeeper Maxwell Owusu Banahene was arrested on suspicion of fraud in May 2023, after allegations were made by a woman who claimed that the keeper defrauded her of GH₵6000 (Ghanaian Cedi) by falsely promising assistance with her overseas travel plans.

The Drugs Don't Work

Lanciano goalkeeper Davide Petrachi's career came to a premature halt when he was arrested in June 2018 on suspicion of supplying illegal drugs. He reached a plea bargain agreement with the authorities which led to a reduced prison sentence of 16 months.

A Family Affair

Orlando City’s Mason Stajduhar and his wife Tatiana were charged with disorderly conduct following an incident in the early hours of a Sunday morning in the city in May, 2024. The couple allegedy got into an altercation with bouncers and a female member of staff outside of a nightclub and were trying to regain entry when police arrived. While Stajduhar was being led away, his wife hurled abuse at officers, leading to her joining her husband in the back of the squad car.

On the Other Side of the Law

Of course, not every goalkeeper has strayed on the wrong side of the law. England and Small Heath (later Birmingham City) keeper Charles Charsley, for example, became Chief Constable of Coventry after he retired from the game. He wasn't the only one...

In the line of duty

Tommy Cornthwaite, who kept goal for Bury on 89 occasions between 1919 and 1923, was a part-time player and policeman. In 1920 he missed several games for the Shakers due to a miners' strike because all police leave was cancelled!

On the beat

The late Ian Main, once of Exeter City, became a policeman after hanging up his gloves with the Devon side.

Pitch inspector

Former England Under-18 and Rotherham United goalkeeper Ray Mountford also joined the force after retiring and rose to the rank of Inspector.

Policing the streets

Manchester City and England keeper Frank Swift was a Special Constable in charge of traffic control during the Second World War before resuming his career at Maine Road.

Norman the Constable

After hanging up his gloves, former Sunderland, Hull City and Wales goalkeeper Tony Norman became a policeman in County Durham but was forced to retire at the age of 47 after being diagnosed with a rare heart condition called cardiomyopathy.

Keeping law and order

Vålerenga's Árni Gautur Arason studied law in his native Iceland and still practices as well being the country's goalkeeper. He also had brief spells with Rosenborg and Manchester City.

Bobby of the Glen

One-time St. Mirren, Dumbarton and Alloa Athletic goalkeeper Donald Hunter became a member of Strathclyde's police force after he hung his gloves up.

An Officer and a Gentleman

Coventry City's genial goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic seemed destined for a career with the boys in the other shade of blue prior to signing professional forms with Chesterfield, having served as a police cadet then officer with the Nottinghamshire constabulary in Mansfield.

When not on duty...

Small Heath's Tom Watson had the unique distinction of playing for the Birmingham club then policing their matches after he joined the Birmingham City Police force in 1895, rising to the rank of sergeant.

Peter SpringettSpring in his step

Peter Springett, brother of former England keeper Ron, joined the South Yorkshire police force after he hung up his gloves and became the liaison officer between the force and fans of Sheffield United Football Club, despite the fact he played for Wednesday.

Cop out

Campbell Money, who was on the books of St. Mirren for eighteen years, had to give up his career with the Strathclyde Police Force when he went full-time and signed for the Love Street club in 1978.

Yeoman of the guard

Harry Yeomans, who played twelve times for Southampton during the 1920s, grew tired of playing understudy to first choice keeper Tommy Allen and decided to quit professional footballer in favour of a life in the Hampshire Police force, later playing for them in the local leagues.

Returning to his beat

Alex Scott, who carved out a career keeping goal for Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers amongst others, served as a policeman during World War II and still found time to play 85 times for Wolves during this period. After retiring from football, he returned to the force, serving with his local constabulary.

Hammer of the law

Colin Mackleworth spent five seasons as reserve keeper at Upton Park before moving to Leicester City but on retiring from football he enlisted in the Metropolitan Police and was stationed at Bow, where he often found himself on duty at the Boleyn Ground on match days.

The Policeman Who Would Be King

After a promising career was cut short by injury at the age of twenty-two shortly before the outbreak of World War Two, Derby County's Frank King opted to join the police force before returning to football as a physio with Leicester City and Luton Town amongst others.

Police Battering Ram

Colin Boulton, who played every game when Derby County won their two league titles in the 1970s, began life as a police cadet in Cheltenham and was playing for Gloucester Police when he was spotted by then Rams manager Tim Ward and signed for the club in 1964. He returned to the force after retiring from the game in the early 1980s.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Romania international Helmuth Duckadam, who saved four penalties to help Steaua Bucharest win the 1986 European Cup, joined the Romanian Border Police (Politia de Frontiera) after quitting football in his hometown of Semlac, rising to the rank of Major during his time with the force.

Keeping the Peace

George Harris, who kept goal for Mansfield Town and Swansea in the 1920s as well as playing first class game of cricket for Glamorgan, later joined the South Wales Constabulary.

Special Squad

Dave Edwards enjoyed a long and varied career as a goalkeeper, playing professionally in Scotland and the United States, before taking up cricket after retiring. He was also instrumental in reviving the fortunes of Cowdenbeath after the Second War, during which he had served as a Special Constable in the local police force.

Legal Eagle

Former Cagliari, Genoa and Lazio goalkeeper Mario Ielpo is a qualified lawyer, although he prefers the less challenging role of TV pundit.

Sporting Brief

Billy Moon, who made his England debut at the tender age of 19 in 1888, was a qualified solicitor but still found time to not only play football but also cricket for Middlesex.

Electra Glide in Blue

Denmark's Ole Qvist, who kept goal for the Danes during the 1984 European Championships, was a motorcycle police officer in Copenhagen and played football part-time. He returned to his "day job" as soon as Denmark were knocked out by Spain.

Where there's a Will...

Despite having a promising career ahead of him, James Will turned his back on professional football at the age of 22 for a career with the Grampian Police Force. Will, who was David Seaman's understudy at Arsenal, was part of Scotland's Under-16 World Cup final side in 1989 and later played for Dunfermline.

Bringing on the Trainer

One-time Tottenham Hotspur, Newport County and Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Mark Kendall became a police officer in the Gwent constabulary after he retired from football and was named National Police Trainer of the year in 2007 later in his career.

Long arm of the Law

Bert Crossthwaite, who enjoyed spells between the sticks with Fulham and Birmingham City among others, remained an amateur throughout his career and in 1910 joined Birmingham's Police force, rising to the rank of Inspector.

Duty calls

Former Cardiff City, Hereford United and Swansea City goalkeeper Lyn Davies had something of an eclectic post-football career and became a police officer after a spell as a rigger.

A Force to reckoned with

West Ham reserver keeper Alan Dickie joined the Metropolitan Police Force after he retired from the game and later worked in a hospital Coroner's Office after hanging up his truncheon.

Sending him on his way

Frustrated by changes to the laws of the game, in particular the directive handed down to referees to send players off for professional fouls and deliberate handballs, Northampton Town's Neil Freeman decided enough was enough and hung his gloves up midway through the season. The former Birmingham City and Southend United keeper promptly joined the police force.

12 Months a Copper

After playing just two games for Nelson in 1924, goalkeeper Harry Nutter gave up football and joined the Lancashire Constabulary. However, he spent just a year on the force before emigrating to Australia to start a new life Down Under.

Evans Above

Former Wales international goalkeeper Len Evans had considered joining the priesthood before his football career took off but chose instead to join the police force, walking the beat in the Barry area before he signed his first professional contract.

Fallen Oak

Having enjoyed a successful career with Hearts of Oak, Saanie Mohammed struggled to maintain his form with new club Asante Kotoko and found himself without a club after being released. When he failed to earn a contract with his former club, the goalkeeper decided to turn his back on the game and joined the Ghana Police Force.


Drew Brand enjoyed a somewhat nondescript Football League career, the highlight of which was two appearances in Everton's first team. After a three year spell with Hereford United, Brand retired from football in 1983 to become a police officer in Cheshire.

Running for President

After keeping goal for the likes of Kansas City Wiz and Dallas Burn in the MLS, Garth Lagerwey returned to school and graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in law in 2004 and became an attorney before returning to football to become the president of the Seattle Sounders.

Keeping Up Appearances

Former Bury, Wigan Athletic and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Phil Hughes combined playing for non-League Guiseley with walking the beat with the local police force after he retired from professional football. He later returned to the game as a goalkeeping coach with Leeds United among others.

Police Five

Despite waiting patiently for his chance in goal, John Wright played just five first team games for Colchester United before deciding to call time on his professional career in favour of walking the beat in Essex with the local Constabulary and keeping goal for Great Bentley.

The Third Man

Switzerland international Erwin Ballabio was elected as the third community policeman in the town of Grenchen in 1941. Despite still playing, he rose to the position of corporal - the first community office to achieve such a rank - before resigning in 1945.

Hanging up his truncheon

Gerry Neef was still pounding the beat in the German police force when Rangers boss Davie White recruited him from amateur side VfvB Ruhrort/Laar in Dusseldorf. Neef spent four seasons at Ibrox before returning home to join 1. FC Nürnberg.

Military Police

Stoke City's Jack Benton served in the army in South Africa before returning home to the UK and becoming a professional footballer. Serving with 4th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment during the Boer War, he rose to the rank of Sergeant of Police and also kept goal for the Transvaal Police.

Pilgrim's Progress

Harry Sweptsone combined his playing career with his legal profession in the 1880s. A solicitor by trade, he was admitted to the bar in 1881, a year after making his debut for England, practising in Bethnal Green before moving to Bishopsgate. Nicknamed Little Pilgrim by the national press, he was also a founding member of the Corinthian Casuals.

Keeping the Police

Wilfred Skinner had already made his debut for the Singapore national side when he joined the country's Police Force in December 1954. He would later play both football and hockey for the Police Sports Association as well as representing his country in both sports. He would eventually rise to the rank of Assistant Superintendent before calling time on his career in the police in 1974.

Rush Hour

Former Blackpool and Carlisle United goalkeeper Jon Rush enjoyed a very successful career as a police officer after quitting football at the age of 20. Despite having worked with World Cup winner Alan Ball and former Sunderland manager Bob Stokoe, Rush quickly realised that his vocation lay elsewhere and joined the Cumbrian force, where he served for 24 years before rising to the rank of Chief Superintendent and appointed divisional commander of the Greater Manchester area.

Jumping through Hoops

Another goalkeeper to give up on their career between the sticks in favour of alternative employment with the police was former Celtic reserve John Wilson. Wilson, who never made an appearance in the first team at Parkhead but enjoyed a couple of loan spells with Partick Thistle and Berwick Rangers, left the game in the summer of 1986 and enrolled in the Lothian and Borders force, eventually becoming part of their firearms division.

A Lot of Bottle

Argentine goalkeeper Darío Sala became a goalkeeper by accident. Having displayed little interest in football while growing up, Sala enrolled into law school after rising to the rank of lieutenant in the army at the age of 18 intent on pursuing a career as a lawyer. With money tight, he would bet players in the football team a coca-cola that he could stop their shots from outside of the 18-yard box and was spotted as a result by a scout who recommended him to San Lorenzo. He was signed as a reserve player in 1995 and went on to enjoy a 15-year career in three different countries.

The Special One

Derek Stillie, who enjoyed a successful career with Aberdeen, Dundee United, Wigan Athletic, Dunfermline Athletic and Gillingham, became a specialist sports lawyer after hanging up his gloves, qualifying in both English and Scottish law.

A Leeson in the Law

Former Barnsley goalkeeper Don Leeson became a police office after deciding to call time on his career with the Tykes in 1961, serving with the force in Grimsby. He continued to turn out for several local non-league sides and was also selected for the national police football team. Leeson later hung up his truncheon in 1984.

Called to the Bar

Having played in the 1873 FA Cup final for Oxford University, goalkeeper Andrew Leach went on to qualify as a barrister after graduating and was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1876. He later became a Puisne judge in Shanghai.

Armed Escort

Nepal international goalkeeper Binod Dangol was a member of the country's police force and once gave former national boss Stephen Constantine an armed escort to Tribhuvan International Airport during a Maoist bandh to pick up the coach's family. Having successfully completed his mission, Dangol asked if he was in line to start the next game!

Golden Gordon

After an eventful career with West Bromwich Albion (where he began life as a goalkeeper before converting to a defender), Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City, Gordon Nisbet decided to stay in the West County and became a policeman with the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary.

Tally Ho

Shortly after he retired from the professional game, American goalkeeper Talmon "Tally" Hall, who spent five seasons with Houston Dynamos, opted for a career in law enforcement and was sworn in as an Orlando Police Department officer.

Where There's A Will...

Part of the Scotland squad that reached the Under-16 World Cup Final in 1989, Jim Will seemingly had a promising career ahead of him, having been snapped up by Arsenal. However, the youngster never fulfilled his potential and after unsuccessful spells with Dunfermline Athletic and Peterhead he decided to turn his back on the game, becoming a police offer with the Grampian constabulary.

The Enforcer

Following a career with Arminia Bielefeld and Dynamo Dresden, German goalkeeper Dennis Eilhoff opted for a career in law enforcement after hanging up his gloves, becoming a police officer.

Kane and Able

In April 1936, Stanley Kane asked to be released from his contract with Southend United after just three weeks so he could join the Liverpool City Police force. The one-time Liverpool goalkeeper later played for the national police team and married the daughter of his Chief Superintendent!

Special Duties

Scottish goalkeeper Colin Hampton, who enjoyed a career with Motherwell and Chelsea and later won the Military Medal for service during World War One, served as a Special Constable in Coventry during the Second World War.

I Shot at the Sheriff...

After struggling with injury while with Panama City Pirates in the USL Premier Development League, American goalkeeper Joe Nasco decided to give up on a professional football career and became police officer for the Gordon County Sheriff's Department in Calhoun. However, some years later he caught the eye of the Atlanta Silverbacks and returned to the game full-time, later signing for MLS side Colorado Rapids.

Diving for the Ball

American goalkeeper Gene Olaff combined a playing career with a spell in the New Jersey State Police. His career in law enforcement was slightly more impressive, despite winning solitary cap for the USA national team. As well as holding the positions of chief of staff and superintendent, Olaff also created the state's underwater police unit, having served as a naval diver during World War Two.

Parr of the Course

England goalkeeper Percival Parr, who kept goal for Oxford University in the FA Cup Final back in 1880, trained as a barrister after graduating and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1885 before later branching out into publishing.

Arrested Development

Millwall's John Jackson took matters into his own hands when home fans invaded the pitch at Huddersfield Town's Leeds Road stadium following the final whistle after the Lions had triumphed 1-0 in April 1981. After being kicked and punched by a supporter, Jackson restrained the Terriers fan and made a citizen's arrest, handing the felon over to the police, much to their surprise. The game proved to be Jackon's last appearance for the club.

Student of the Law

Norway international goalkeeper Einar Rossbach mixed his goalkeeping career with his studies at the Norwegian Police University College, moving to Lyn in 1991 so he could attend. He is currently serving at Grenland police station.

Ian McKechnie

Curious Orange

After casually mentioning is love for oranges, Hull City fans began bombarding goalkeeper Ian McKechnie with the fruit before games, many with messages of good luck written on them. However, an unfortunate Tigers fans found himself in hot water at Bramall Lane when he was arrested for throwing an orange onto the pitch before a game against Sheffield United. With the South Yorkshire police unaware of the ritual, McKechnie had to write to the court in defence of the arrested fan.

Beat Cop

Former Swansea City, Halifax Town and Bury goalkeeper Lee Bracey became a serving constable with Greater Manchester Police once his football career was over.

Staff Recreation

Jim Arnold, who sat on the bench as back-up goalkeeper when Everton won the Cup Winners Cup in 1985, joined the Staffordshire Police force as a recreation officer after retiring.

Sooper Dooper

Former Partick Thistle goalkeeper Andy Murdoch joined the Strathclyde constabulary after leaving Firhill Stadium, rising to the position of inspector before becoming a superintendent in the Police Scotland Force.

Bar Work

Leonard Wilkinson, who was capped by England in 1891, was a barrister by trade, being called to the bar in 1893 and later working the Oxford Circuit, Stafford and Worcester Sessions and Birmingham Assizes.

'Gull Keeper

Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Gordon Mee served as a police reservist during the Second World War before resuming his career with Watford.

Kentucky Tried

American goalkeeper Scott Budnick became a lawyer after retiring from football. The former Tampa Bay Mutiny stopper, who was once back-up to Kasey Keller at Under-20 level, started practicing in Kentucky after graduating from Nova Southeastern University in 2004

Parade Bunting

Brighton goalkeeper Jack Bunting had a varied career. In addition to keeping goal for the Seagulls and Nottingham Forest among others, he also served as a sergeant in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, worked on the railways during the Second World War and spent time with Nottingham City Police force.

Far from "Un-Rully"

Indonesian goalkeeper Rully Desrian, who counts Bali United, Persatu Tuban and Perserang Serang among his many clubs, combines his goalkeeping duties with that of a police officer and is an active member of the Indonesian National Police force.

Harbouring Criminals

Gary Towse was something of a legend at Folkstone Invicta FC, where he served as goalkeeper, goalkeeping coach, groundsman and manager of the youth and reserve teams after a brief spell in the Football League with Crystal Palace and Brentford. However, in later years he found employment with the Kent Police Force working at Folkstone Harbour.

Holding Up the Law

Morten Cramer's professional career was put on hold for just over ten years after the Danish goalkeeper opted to concentrate on his career with the country's police force after being unable to displace a certain Peter Schmeichel as Brøndby's first choice keeper. Having played part-time, he opted to make something of a comeback with Brøndby in 1999 before joining Herfølge two years later.

DC Hero

Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Kevin Carr joined the Northumbria Police constabulary after retiring from football, starting off walking the beat before rising to the rank of Detective Constable with their major crime department. However, he managed to combine both careers when he was selected to play for the England Police team in 1991.

Beat Surrender

Trailblazer Sue Whyatt, who kept goal for Macclesfield Ladies and was one of the first female players to represent England at international level back in 1973, having previously been called up to the first ever squad aged 16, became a police office in later life, which brought an end to her international career due to the status of the women's game back in the day that prevented her from taking time off.

Waltzing Matilda

Australian international Leanne Trimboli was a serving police officer throughout her football career, rising to the rank of Detective Senior Sergeant.

North End Beat

Grimsby Town and Leeds United goalkeeper Fred Whalley joined the Lancashire police force after retiring and became a serving officer in Preston.

Turning the Screw

Bristol City goalkeeper Tony Cook became a prison officer at Horfield prison after retiring from the game, going on to spend 27 years in the service before hanging up his truncheon and keys.

Troy Story

Former United States goalkeeper Troy Perkins was sworn in as a police officer in Kennewick, Washington in January 2017, after retiring from the game, having previously working as a mortgage loan processor at the start of his career.

Falling Out of Love With the Game

Darlington goalkeeper Tommy Clish, who had been on West Ham's books as a youngster, joined the Durham Constabulary after become disillusioned and qutting the game in the summer of 1958.