Ex-soccer player spared jail over fight | world | Hindustan Times
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Ex-soccer player spared jail over fight

Former Scotland international footballer Frank McAvennie was given a suspended four-month jail sentence after admitting fighting outside a bar on the Isle of Man.

world Updated: Jan 12, 2009 20:09 IST

Former Scotland international footballer Frank McAvennie was given a suspended four-month jail sentence on Monday after admitting fighting outside a bar on the Isle of Man.

McAvennie, 49, who played as a striker for Celtic and West Ham and appeared five times for Scotland, had headbutted a man outside a wine bar in the island's capital Douglas last July.

He had been on the island in the Irish Sea to take part in a charity football match but missed the game after he was arrested, the Press Association reported.

McAvennie's lawyer told the High Bailiffs' Court in Douglas that his client had no previous convictions for assault and accepted he had overreacted after feeling threatened by a local 23-year-old man.

McAvennie had tried to employ his usual "coping strategy" when faced with difficult fans, but was unable to walk away, the lawyer said.

Passing sentence for affray, High Bailiff Michael Moyle told McAvennie: "I know people may say things that rile you or upset you due to your status as a footballer, and I'm afraid that's the price you have to pay for fame."

McAvennie, born in Glasgow, now lives in Newcastle and works as a football agent.

The 23-year-old, Ian Moffitt, admitted affray at a hearing last month and was given a suspended four-month prison term.