Drink-drive Premier League footballer banned from roads

BARRY BANNAN, of Aston Villa
BARRY BANNAN, of Aston Villa

THE PREMIER League footballer who was arrested in Bulwell following a car crash has been banned from the roads after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

Aston Villa star Barry Bannan (21) was picked up by police after he was found roaming Main Street on Sunday October 23.

The Scotland international has now appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court. He admitted being over the drink-drive limit, driving without due care and attention, failing to stop after an accident and driving on a provisional licence.

After the case, Bannan, of Middleton Road, Sutton Coldfield, confessed to a “terrible error of judgment”.

In a statement released through his club, he said: “I have let down my family, my club, the supporters of Aston Villa, all the people who have helped me get to this stage in my football career and I have let down myself. I’m really sorry.”

The court heard that midfielder Bannan was collected by friends after Villa’s 2-1 derby defeat to Birmingham rivals West Bromwich Albion on Saturday October 22. He drank two cans of beer en route to a night out in Leeds.

He carried on boozing at a nightclub before returning to his hotel to wait for his friends. When they didn’t show, he decided to drive back to Birmingham.

Bannan crashed his black Range Rover Sport on the southbound carriageway of the M1 at junction 26 at 5.30 am.

After the smash, the footballer panicked and fled over fields towards Bulwell. He ended up at a taxi office in the town where he was later arrested — along with fellow professional footballer James Collins, who plays for Shrewsbury Town. Collins (20) was later released without charge

Tests showed Bannan was almost twice the legal alcohol limit for driving.

He was fined £4,500 and banned from driving for 18 months, although this will be reduced by more than four months if he completes a drink-driving rehabilitation course.