9 months after being sentenced to jail, ex City player to join League 1 side

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Carlisle United are set to sign former Manchester City defender Courtney Meppen-Walter

Following a successful trial at Carlisle United, former England Under-18’s captain, Courtney Meppen-Walter is set to sign a short-term contract with the club according to BBC Sport.

The defender was a very promising youth player for Manchester City and England before he was sentenced to 16 months in jail in February following a car crash which killed two people. However he was released a few weeks ago, and it didn’t take him long to earn a trial at Carlisle United.

The League 1 side’s manager Graham Kavanagh has been impressed with him in training, and has offered him terms for a one-month contract. Kavanagh had this to say, “He has tremendous potential as a footballer and it’s now a case of us dragging that out of him.

Meppen-Walter will certainly be the target of abuse from opposition supporters, and it could bring unwanted publicity to the Cumbrian side. He is not the first to return to football after a prison sentence though. Lee Hughes was jailed in 2004 following a fatal car crash from which he fled the scene of. He has since returned to play for Oldham Athletic, Notts County and now Port Vale. He is still the target of abuse from football fans, but it hasn’t stopped him garnering out a successful career.

Marlon King has also been in and out of prison numerous times in his football career for various offences. He like Hughes, has also managed to have a relatively successful career in the football league. Meppen-Walter will know that he will have to be able to withstand chanting, and abuse aimed at him from opposition’s fans. But he will obviously of course be grateful that he has been given a second chance.

Some Carlisle fans will probably be against the clubs decision of signing an ex-prisoner. Only time will tell if his performances can change their opinions.

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