FA investigation completes its work

Four UK football players have been banned for up to a year for breaching betting rules following a Football Association investigation.

The probe centred around the League Two clash between Accrington Stanley and Bury in May 2008 (see previous InfoPowa report) which generated unusual betting activity.

Ex-Accrington player Jay Harris was banned for a year and fined GBP 5 000, while team-mates Robert Williams and Danny Mannix received eight and 10-month bans and GBP 3 500 and GBP 4 000 fines respectively. Ex-Bury player Andrew Mangan was given a five-month ban and GBP 2 000 fine.

The Sun newspaper quoted a former football star who was jailed for similar offences in 1964. Peter Swan said: "You will never rid the game of gambling."

Swan, now a publican in Chesterfield, declared: "I am not at all surprised that something like this has surfaced again.

"The fact is, having a flutter on opponents to win a game against you was prevalent in my playing days and it is still rife in the game today."

Swan, along with Sheffield Wednesday team-mates David 'Bronco' Layne and Tony Kay, were sentenced to six months in prison, were banned from football for life and could not watch live games at any FA-sanctioned ground after betting on the Owls to lose at Ipswich.

The trio were freed after three months and the life bans were lifted after eight years. That allowed Swan, now 72, to briefly resume his playing career at Hillsborough and Bury.

He added: "No matter how much money players earn or how rich they become, they will always enjoy a gamble.

"I do not get to many live matches these days but I watch a lot of games on TV and sometimes, I have to say, it makes you wonder.

"For example, I look at a ball that should easily be cleared and the next thing it's in the back of the net.

"As an ex-pro, you can sense something might not be right in situations like that.

"I am not suggesting for one second these four lads have done anything untoward but, boy, have they got off lightly compared to how me, Bronco and Tony were punished.

"All we did was have a gamble on the fixed odds. We didn't 'throw' a game."

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