King has PFA backing
Gordon Taylor insist the players' union will back Marlon King and help him get his career back on track.
By James Riach
Last Updated: 01/11/09 4:17pm
Gordon Taylor insist the players' union will back disgraced striker Marlon King and help him get his career back on track.
The former Wigan forward was jailed for 18 months on Thursday after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old female student and causing actual bodily harm after punching her in the face.
King was sacked by the Latics just one hour after the guilty verdict, but Professional Footballers Association chief executive Taylor said the shamed striker would receive their backing to get his career up and running again.
"Everybody in life can have big problems to face and this is probably his biggest and I hope he's able to overcome it and if he needs help to get his life back on track I assure you we'll be there for him," he said.
"We will be pleased to give any of our members who has got problems support to get his life and his career back on track.
"We have a known record for that. I think we've got almost 50 cases in the past few years where such help has been requested and been given and for the most part we're pleased to say it has been successful."
Former Arsenal defender Tony Adams and Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton are two examples of players who have served prison time and returned to the game, and Taylor believes King will come back after he has served his sentence.
"If he serves his time, is contrite and shows a willingness to get his life back on track then that (football) is his skill and that's the right of every individual," he added.
"There are many managers who have taken on players who've had chequered careers both on and off the field. Sometimes they have been able to change them and other times not.
"It's not going to be an easy situation to accept but I would hope with the passage of time, with the right approach from Marlon and the willingness to get his life back on track then that's a situation that hopefully may resolve itself and he's still young enough to be able to do that."
However, Taylor revealed that the PFA has not yet been contacted by King or his agent Tony Finnegan.