Former Northampton Town striker jailed for part in £5m fraud scam

Former Cobblers player Paul Sugrue has been jailed for seven years.
Former Cobblers player Paul Sugrue has been jailed for seven years.

An ex-Cobblers forward who later sold Premier League dreams to young hopeful footballers has been jailed for his part in a £5million football apprenticeship fraud.

Paul Sugrue, who played for Northampton Town eight times in 1985 and 1986, was sentenced for his part in a major scheme that involved helping youngsters from deprived backgrounds gain coaching qualifications. None of the allegations relate to his time at the Cobblers, the BBC has reported.

Those running the scheme lied about the number of people enrolled and did not carry out all of the promised training.

In total, four men, including ex Wales international Mark Aizlewood were found guilty following a trial and two others admitted fraud charges at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.

Aizlewood was jailed for for six years while Sugrue was given a seven-year term.

Fellow director Keith Williams, 45, from Anglesey, and Jack Harper, 30, from Merseyside received four years and 18 months respectively.

Two other men, Christopher Martin, 53, from Catmore, Berkshire, and Stephen Gooding, 53, from Bridgwater in Somerset, had previously pleaded guilty for their role in the fraud.

Martin was given five years and three months in prison, while Gooding was sentenced to 20 months.

Aizlewood was identified by investigators as the leader of the scam.