Swindon Town Defends Drink Drive Goalkeeper

Sky News24 May 2012

Swindon Town FC has defended its decision to allow a footballer, whose drink driving led to the deaths of two small children, to train with the club.

Luke McCormick will join Swindon Town football club for a trial when he is released from Leyhill prison in June.

But the club's chairman, Jeremy Wray, insisted his decision was more about rehabilitation for the footballer than for the club's benefit.

"I'm not in desperate need of a goalkeeper.

"This is someone who's served his time in prison and is now looking to reintegrate into society.

"He goes back to the profession he was in before, can we help him by allowing him to come and train with us and rebuild his life and hopefully put something back?

"He is full of remorse. He has spoken to the PFA about working with young players and explaining the pitfalls of drinking driving.

"This is not about football, it's about Swindon doing what's right in the community - for rehabilitation."

McCormick was jailed for seven years and four months in October 2008 after the deaths of Arron Peak, 10, and his brother Ben, eight, in a crash on the M6 in Staffordshire.

Mr Peak, from Partington in Manchester, was at the wheel of the family's Toyota and
also suffered serious injuries that left him in a wheelchair.

McCormick was returning from a team-mate's wedding and was found to be twice the legal drink-drive limit at the time of the crash.

He had been seen with his friends drinking beer and downing shots of Sambuca at the reception.

The 28-year-old has been training with the Swindon club while on day release from prison since January.

The dead boys' mother, Amanda Peak, has said the club's decision to take on the former Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper feels "like a kick in the stomach".

"Swindon might be a family club but now they are hiring a man who has torn my family apart," she told The Sun newspaper.

Mr Wray added: "Our view is that it is very easy to say that it's too difficult a subject to bother with.

"We thought long and hard about it, and it has to be made clear that everybody's thoughts can only go to the family of those two young boys and their father who was badly injured.

"Tragedy is a word used too often, but this was a tragedy and it can never be changed.

"He (McCormick) will live with what has happened every day of his life but he has the chance to give something back, to show the tragedies of drink-driving."

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