Ex-Town player banned from all pubs

A FORMER Ipswich Town youth player has been banned from every pub and nightclub in the UK for attacking a policeman.

Dave Gooderham

A FORMER Ipswich Town youth player has been banned from every pub and nightclub in the UK for attacking a policeman.

Erkan Okay was also set to miss the biggest game of his life after being suspended by his club, Histon, who were due to play Swansea City in the third round of the FA Cup this weekend. The match was postponed.

The 23-year-old player, who assaulted a police officer while on a night out in Newmarket, was immediately suspended by club bosses who pledged to carry out an internal disciplinary hearing.

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Magistrates sentenced Okay to a month-long ban from pubs after he kicked a police officer who was arresting him for urinating in Newmarket High Street.

Okay, who was also hauled in front of the courts when he admitted being drunk and disorderly while on the books of Ipswich in 2004, was an unused substitute in Histon's famous 1-0 victory over Leeds United in November.

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But he will play no part in today's match against the Championship side after the Cambridgeshire-based club expressed its “disappointment” and immediately suspended the player until the disciplinary hearing can take place.

In a statement on the Histon website, manager Steve Fallon said: “The news of this has come as a complete shock to everyone at the club.

“Obviously we are deeply disappointed that one of our players has let himself and the club down.

“We will now deal with the matter through our disciplinary procedures. This is a very serious matter and Erkan will have to deal with the consequences of his actions.”

The footballer was handed the month-long ban from all pubs and clubs on December 23 after he admitted using abusive behaviour and assaulting Pc Christopher Button.

Magistrates in Bury St Edmunds heard how Okay had been thrown out of Innocence nightclub in Newmarket on Saturday, December 13, at about 11.25pm and was later approached by officers who saw him urinating.

Emma Lister, prosecuting, told the court how Okay then verbally abused Pc Button before kicking him on the knee. He was taken to Newmarket Police Station, where he admitted to officers he had drunk a bottle of whisky earlier in the evening.

Kevin McCarthy, mitigating, said: “My client is understandably ashamed. He has apologised to the officer and regrets kicking out that night.”

Okay, a part-time PE teacher who played for Ipswich youth and reserve teams but never signed for the club professionally, has played for Histon for five years and appeared for England's non-league team in 2007. He appeared before magistrates in April 2004 on the drunk and disorderly charge following a night out with some of his young Town team-mates.

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