Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe Lone Ranger - Former Newcastle man's list of convictions - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The Lone Ranger - Former Newcastle man's list of convictions - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The Lone Ranger – Former Newcastle man’s list of convictions

Ex-Premier League striker Nile Ranger has been given a 12 month community order for pulling his girlfriend’s hair during a row. The 21-year-old former Newcastle United player admitted common assault on Shakira Bicar outside the city’s Gate entertainment complex on the 13th March.

Newcastle magistrates heard the row happened when Ms Bicar was out with a male work colleague. Ranger is described to have grabbed her by the hair and then proceed to whisk her away towards the Gate car park in Newcastle city centre after she kicked him in the leg.

Ranger offered to pay the £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge immediately. Something which fails to surprise me, a professional footballer requesting to pay costs of £145 that he probably had in his back pocket.

No order was made for compensation as there was a possibility of reconciliation, the court heard. Robinson said Ranger must also address “gambling issues” which were not mentioned in open court.

Ranger’s solicitor Geoffrey Forrester told the court the player hoped to resume his football career in the summer. Mr Forrester said: “He has paid a heavy price for this. He has had to leave Newcastle United FC by way of settlement. It was not something he wanted to do. He brought it upon himself, he has to move on with his life.”

This is by no means the first time that Ranger has had to move on with his life. In October 2012, Ranger pleaded guilty towards assaulting two police officers. However, on that charge he was cleared of actual body harm towards two separate members of the public. At about 2am he was approached by a group of white males and a confrontation ensued which resulted in Ranger punching two of them.

The court heard that the footballer had been the victim of racial taunts and that his actions were in self-defence. CCTV footage concluded that Ranger was shown to have been acting in self-defence, after one of the males started swinging for him. Ranger fled the scene and when two policemen approached him he pushed them away, causing minor injuries.

Judge John Evans said: ’I cannot know what happened that night, only those involved know that. After the confrontation, you delivered two pushes to the police officers, who suffered limited injuries.”

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and told to pay £750 to each officer. A measly sum of £1,500 to right his wrongs, surely the courts must begin to release that ordering him to pay fines is no skin off his back. Despite being a free agent, Ranger was believed to be on £3,500 a week at Newcastle. Therefore, fining him less than a week’s wage would have done nothing more than lower the amount on his betting slip.

Ranger’s list of convictions

  • ·         In 2007, Age 15: 11 weeks in a young offenders institute after participating in a street robbery in Muswell Hill, London.
  • ·         In May 2011: Ranger was questioned by Newcastle after posing with a replica gun in a photograph (above). This gun was later handed in.
  • ·         On 27 August, 2011: Arrested on suspicion of assaulting a man in Newcastle City centre and leaving the victim unconscious, found not guilty in October 2012.
  • ·         In October 2011: Charged with being drunk and disorderly in Newcastle Cathedral Square. This charge came days after he was reinstated into Newcastle’s first team training after a three month period with the reserves. He was convicted of being drunk and disorderly and was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £135 costs.
  • ·         In March 2012, he was fined by the FA for making homophobic comments on Twitter. In the same month he managed to get arrested for breaching his bail, whilst awaiting trial on four assault charges.
  • ·         On 23 September 2012: Arrested for criminal damage at the scene of a property in Enfield, London after damaging the front door. The charge against Ranger was dropped in November 2012 after the court accepted his explanation that he had damaged the door after fearing his girlfriend was being kidnapped.
  • ·         On 25 January 2013, Ranger was arrested on suspicion of rape in a Newcastle hotel room.

 Ranger’s career stats speak volumes about his mental state. He has amassed 64 senior appearances with Newcastle United, Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday. This is pretty impressive, considering the fact his goal return as a striker is dreadful, with a career total of four. To put this into perspective Ranger has a goal scoring ratio of a goal every sixteen games. If you want to put this into an even bigger perspective, Conor Sammon has a goal scoring record of a goal every five games, this is three times better than Ranger’s.

 Now that is a statistic capable of forcing someone to rethink their career.

Zak Bird.