Chorley FC vow to stand by defender Courtney Meppen-Walter after drink-drive conviction

Courtney Meppen-Walter
Courtney Meppen-Walter
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Chorley FC have vowed to stand by footballer Courtney Meppen-Walter after his drink-drive conviction.

Meppen-Walter has been fined by the National League North leaders after he was convicted of drink driving.

The 23-year-old defender was banned from the road for 22 months after he was stopped in Manchester city centre last month and found to be twice the legal drink-drive limit.

His conviction comes five years after he was sent to prison for causing the death of a brother and sister in a car crash.

A club spokesman said: "Following the recent conviction of Courtney Meppen-Walter for drink driving, we can confirm that the player has been severely reprimanded and fined in accordance with club rules to the maximum extent and stipulations have been put in place regarding future conduct while playing for Chorley Football Club.

"Manager Jamie Vermiglio has expressed a wish to support Courtney with his rehabilitation and as a board of directors the club remains fully supportive of the manager. However, we would like to reassure supporters; the decision to retain Courtney comes after several in depth discussions between board members, manager, player, family, solicitors, as well as Chorley FC’s legal advisers. It is not a decision that has been taken lightly.

"The club can categorically state that, in no way do we condone the player’s thoughtless actions and will continue to work with Courtney, similarly, with other offenders in the Chorley area through the Chorley FC Community Foundation."

Manager Jamie Vermiglio added: "“As a club and as the manager of the club, we, like supporters, feel let down and disappointed with the actions of Courtney.

"He has been deservedly punished by the court of law and furthermore, in line with the club’s own disciplinary procedure.

"Courtney has shown contrition, he’s very ashamed of what’s happened and has been left in no doubt what is expected from him in the future.

“His priorities now include; to become a better role model for his son and the young supporters of Chorley FC, to further his career as a footballer and to work hard to rebuild his reputation within the local community through increased work for the Chorley FC Community Foundation.”

Meppen-Walter said: “I am very conscious of the fact that I have let down a lot of people by my actions, which I deeply regret.

"I’m embarrassed with what I’ve done. I have let down my family, my manager, the club and the supporters of Chorley FC, including all the people who have helped me get to this stage in my football career. I’m so sorry. Obviously, I must make up for a terrible error of judgement and I intend to do so, first by accepting the fine and punishment handed down by the court and subsequently by my future actions.”

In 2013 Meppen-Walter was sent to prison for 16 months for causing the deaths of Kulwant Singh, 32, from Salford, and his sister, Ravel Kaur, 37, by careless driving when he hit their Nissan Micra in his grandfather's high-powered Mercedes C220 saloon in September 2012.

He was released from Manchester City upon his conviction, but after his release and spells at Carlisle and Ashton United he was signed by Chorley FC in 2016.

He left for Stockport County and Glossop North End before returning for his second spell at Victory Park in 2018.

Meppen-Walter, of Heywood, must also serve a 12-month community order, complete 80 hours of unpaid work and pay court costs totalling £170. He indicated he wanted to take a drink-drive awareness course which would reduce his ban by 22 weeks.