Footballer jailed for match assault

A footballer has been jailed for punching a rival player in the face during an FA Cup match.

Barrow defender James Cotterill, 24, pleaded guilty to punching Bristol Rovers striker Sean Rigg during the match on November 11 last year.

Preston Crown Court heard how Mr Rigg's jaw was fractured in two places by the punch and that it would need to be held together by metal plates for the rest of his life.

The assault was captured by television cameras and was broadcast on BBC's 'Match of the Day' programme that evening.

Cotterill was sentenced to four months in jail at Preston Crown Court on Thursday.

It is thought to be the first time that a football player has been jailed for an offence which happened on the pitch in England.


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