Ex Bamber Bridge footballer Regan Linney among men sentenced for drug dealing offence
A semi professional footballer who became involved in dealing cannabis has had his jail term suspended.
FC United of Manchester player Regan Martyn Linney, who previously played for Bamber Bridge FC, was convicted of being concerned in supplying a class B drug.
The 24-year-old, of Vicarage Close, Fulwood, Preston, appeared before Preston Crown Court alongside his co-defendants John Paul Kershaw, 32, of Malham Place, Ribbleton, and Zak Anthony Slater, 21, of Henderson Street, Preston.
Linney, a centre forward, joined FC United after leaving Bamber Bridge.
He had graduated from Bamber Bridge’s first team as a 17 year old in 2015.
He scored the second goal in the team's Intergro League Cup final win against Grantham Town in 2017 and helped them gain promotion to the Northern Premier League in 2018.
Linney was charged with class A drug offences earlier this year, but prosecutors ordered a charge of possessing cocaine to lie on the file.
His defence lawyer said: "Mr Linney works full time as a kitchen fitter and part time as a semi professional footballer, trains on a Tuesday and Thursday and he is required to play all around the country on Saturdays."
Judge Simon Medland QC accepted Linney was of previous good character and said he had read references about him by others.
Slater received 10 months suspended for 18 months with 150 hours, after admitting being concerned in supplying a class B drug.
Linney received nine months, suspended for a year, with 150 hours unpaid work.
The judge said: " You will understand you have brought yourself right in the line of fire for a sentence of custody.
"You've a promising career as a sportsman."
He ordered the money that was seized from both men to be forfeited and added: " I say to you both don't muck it up - you've got your whole lives ahead of you. I don't suppose you really want to go to prison but it's up to you."
Kershaw, who has previous convictions, received 39 months in prison after admitting supplying a class A drug to another, a bail act offence and driving matters.
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