Jailed ex-Canary released to play for village team

FORMER Norwich City star Peter Mendham is being released from prison to play football in the Metaltec SIL.

Elvin King

FORMER Norwich City star Peter Mendham is being released from prison to play football in the Metaltec SIL.

The 48-year-old was sentenced to five years for wounding with intent, and is currently serving his time at Hollesley Bay prison.

He is reported to be allowed day release so that he can turn out for Sproughton Sports; with an employee at Hollesley having a connection with the village football club to provide the link.

Mary Ablett, general secretary of the SIL, said: “I can confirm that Peter Mendham is signed on for Sproughton Sports and is an inmate of Hollesley Bay.

“I do not know the terms that allow him to play football outside the prison.”

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Nobody from Sproughton would be quoted on Mendham's involvement with them, but it is believed he has been a regular player this season.

The league declined to comment on how many appearances he has made.

Mendham has played plenty of non-league football since leaving the Canaries where he made 267 appearances scoring 29 goals.

He scored the winning goal for Diss Town in the 1993/94 final of the FA Vase and has also played for King's Lynn, Watton, Wroxham, North Walsham and Norwich City.

Mendham won the League Cup with Norwich in 1985 and the Second Division title the following year, and he worked for City as football in the community officer for a number of years.

In October 2006 he was arrested, and later charged with the attempted murder of his 39-year-old girlfriend at their house in Norwich after a heated argument.

The woman had suffered a stab wound, and lost a kidney during emergency surgery.

Mendham denied the charge, but then pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of wounding with intent. In February 2007 he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison, which was reduced to five years on appeal.

The Prison service press office wished to make no comment, and Mendham's association with Sproughton may explain the question posed in last week's Kick-Off column about why Sproughton are playing a game at Carrow Road on Sunday, May 10 against a Norwich City XI.

Proceeds from the game will go to charity, and various forms of sponsorship are available at the club.

- Geoffrey Ford from Cemetery Road, Ipswich writes to recall the time - from 1946 to 1950 - when to coincide with every Ipswich Town versus Norwich City game a darts match took

place between the Sproughton Wild Man and the Norwich Wild Man.