Fan-attack footballer Colley had spell with Hucknall Town

YELLOW PERIL -- Karl Colley in action for Belper Town last season
YELLOW PERIL -- Karl Colley in action for Belper Town last season
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The non-league footballer who hit the national headlines this week for attacking a supporter in the stands used to play for Hucknall Town, the Dispatch can disclose.

Karl Colley (30) was captured on video as he stormed on to the terraces after being sent off for Goole in their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Division One South match last Saturday.

The mobile-phone video footage, which has been viewed by thousands via YouTube and Twitter, shows Colley, the Goole captain, making three attempts to confront an opposition spectator who was heckling him.

He ducks under the barriers and tries to throw punches before being dragged away by Goole officials.

Remarkably, the attack came 19 years to the day of Eric Cantona’s infamous high-kicking assault on a fan in a Manchester United match at Crystal Palace.

Colley, dubbed ‘The Beast’ by Goole fans, was sacked immediately after last Saturday’s game at home to Coalville Town.

But his name conjured up memories for Yellows followers because, as a raw, 20-year-old youngster, he turned out for them back in 2004.

Steve Burr and Peter Wragg were the managers who signed him in March of that year when Town were on their way to the Unibond Northern Premier League, Premier Division title.

A giant 6’6^ centre-back, Colley played ten times for Town to cover for injuries in their end-of-season run-in.

Former Dispatch editor and sports editor Richard Silverwood, who covered Yellows matches at the time, remembers him as “a big, solid unit”.

“He wasn’t a particularly sophisticated defender, but he was effective and was certainly highly rated.

“As far as I’m aware, there were no breaches of discipline at the time.”

Colley had been signed from Halifax Town -- after failing to make the professional grade in spells at Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United and Sheffield United.

Along with Burr and Wragg, he left Hucknall at the end of that season. He joined Bradford Park Avenue before embarking on a merry-go round journey that took him to various non-league clubs, such as Alfreton Town, Belper Town, Buxton, Sheffield and Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Colley has rarely settled at a club and controversy has followed him around.

He was once sent off after only five minutes for punching an opponent, and 12 months ago, he was sacked at Belper after kicking, punching and threatening a teammate in training.

Last weekend’s incident was described as “deplorable, disgusting and embarrassing” by Goole, whose manager, ex-Mansfield Town boss David Holdsworth (45), resigned two days later.

Ironically, Holdsworth’s assistant manager, another ex-Stag Curtis Woodhouse, is a former professional boxer.

Woodhouse (33) later tweeted: “I thought I’d seen it all in football. I have now.”