Ex-Chelsea starlet faces drugs charges

A FORMER Chelsea and young England footballer has appeared in court charged with supplying Class A drugs in Ipswich.

Tom Potter

A FORMER Chelsea and young England footballer has appeared in court charged with supplying Class A drugs in Ipswich.

Joel Kitamirike appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday following his arrest by police in Duke Street on Monday.

The 24-year-old Ugandan-born footballer faced five charges including possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine, supplying heroin and crack cocaine and possession with intent to supply cannabis.

Kitamirike, who lives in East London and currently plays non-league football, pleaded guilty to each charge.

The Chelmsford City defender was refused bail due to the seriousness of the crime and on the grounds that he may offend again. He was remanded in custody and will appear at Ipswich Crown Court at a later date.

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Kitamirike made one appearance for Chelsea aged 17 - playing alongside England stars Frank Lampard, John Terry and current West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola - after six players opted out of the team's much-publicised trip to Israel to play Hapoel Tel Aviv.He represented England at under-15 level and in 2004 was included in the Ugandan national team for a 2006 World Cup qualifier but was not permitted dual nationality and missed the game.

He was released by the North London club and after short spells at Mansfield Town and Dundee joined Major Soccer League club, Columbus Crew.

He made one appearance for the Ohio-based team before dropping into English non-league football and playing for Fisher Athletic and Weymouth. He was released by Weymouth in February 2008 and joined Chelmsford City.

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