Gary Madine was a striker for the English Championship Division soccer team Sheffield Wednesday, who punched two fans in two separate nightclub attacks and was consequently jailed for 18 months. Madine, who already had a previous conviction for knocking a man out in a Carlisle pub, punched Wednesday fan Daniel Beresford in the Paris Bar in Sheffield city centre in February 2012, breaking his nose. Four weeks later he punched a rival Sheffield United fan, bricklayer Reece Hall, in the city’s Viper Room club, smashing his cheekbone. Mr. Madine was found guilty of causing Mr. Beresford Actual Bodily Harm and causing Mr. Hall Grievous Bodily Harm. In each case there was a reoccurring bit of deja vu violence as the police force arrived, The footballer was arrested and admitted struggling with and both physically and verbally abusing officers who put him in their van screaming “I’ll have you all!” and then swearing at a custody desk sergeants on both separate occasions.
Rodney Jameson QC sentenced the striker, who was automatically sacked by his club, according to the Daily Mail, to six months for the ABH on Mr. Beresford and 12 months for the offense of GBH against Mr. Hall, whose cheekbone suffered a compound fracture in the attack. ABH is an abbreviation for the British legal term Actual Bodily Harm, which basically means assault with the intention of dominating a perceived opponent or opponents. A far more serious offense is GBH, an abbreviation of ‘Grievous Bodily Harm’ or “wounding with intent” or “causing grievous bodily harm with intent.” Anyone charged once with the former, will be charged as a matter of course in the UK, with the latter after a repetition of an offense.
Born in 1991 in Gateshead, Madine typifies what his defending solicitor Alison Dorrell referred to as “the tragedy of hubris.” Affectionately known by Sheffield Wednesday fans as ‘Goal Machine,’ Dorrell told the jury, “He had thrown away his talent due to drink, childish behavior and a temper problem.”
Having gone straight from school into the fourth professional rung Division Two’s Carlisle United team, Madine scored 22 goals over 83 games. Unfortunately, having knocked a man unconscious and hit his prostrate body with a barstool on a Summer night in 2010, Madine was already getting in constant trouble in Carlisle bars, even before he was of legal drinking age. Given a suspended sentence by a lenient judge, Madine did not seem willing to alter his lifestyle, however, and the club was clearly displeased enough about his bad behavior that, after undergoing a series of anger management classes, he was loaned out twice at a profit to Rochdale and Coventry City. Yet Madine did well with both teams, so much so that both wanted to buy him full-time. Carlisle demanded a half million pound fee for his services, however, which neither club could afford.
In March 2010, Madine led Carlisle to the Football League Trophy final at Wembley against Southampton. Having scored a spectacular goal to give them the lead, Madine was crushed when they ultimately lost 4-1. Nevertheless, the striker impressed a lot of managers and Dave Jones of Sheffield Wednesday was impressed enough to pay Carlisle’s fee and he arrived in Yorkshire in the January transfer window of 2011.
Now married with a family and a mortgage, Madine did not slow down as he moved up from town to city. Much of the GB£5,000 a week he earned for his services went on high living, according to the Daily Mirror. A standout performer in at least three Derby matches, Madine seemed intoxicated by the adoration Wednesday fans gave him. Caught up in the ancient tribal derby hostilities of the Sheffield United versus Sheffield Wednesday rivalry, Madine repeatedly got in fights with United supporters in public houses and needed to be pulled out of volatile situations on a number of occasions by Wednesday teammates. Indeed, having undergone an anger management course already, he was forced by Jones to do it again in a desperate attempt to address his temper issues. So much so that Ms. Dorrell said that the Sheffield Wednesday manager, who was “not an easy man to impress” said of Madine that “his pride has seemed to give way to some common sense.”
At 6’3″ and 200Ibs, Mr. Madine “can do a lot of damage!” Jones told the jury. Indeed, having broken one man’s jaw and shattered the cheekbone and jaw of another, Madine will have plenty to think about the wages of violence while he’s institutionalized. “You are not the first professional athlete to undergo a prison sentence who has had to rebuild his life,” Judge Jameson said. “The rest will be up to you.” Indeed, as the recent case of Marlon King has shown, a bit of incarceration may not necessarily hurt a player’s chance of returning to the professional game if he manages to stay fit.