FORMER Witton Albion striker Shaun Tuck has been banned from playing football again until next year as punishment for sending malicious messages on the Internet.
The 27-year-old, currently at Warrington Town, went to prison last summer after pleading guilty to writing a string of offensive remarks on Twitter in the hours following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in London.
The Football Association said on Friday that Tuck will be suspended until December 31, the governing body’s sanction for the offence almost a year later.
He has also been fined £500, and told he must attend an appropriate educational course after admitting 20 breaches of rule E3, which covers ‘improper conduct using threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour’.
Tuck, Witton’s leading scorer in his only season with the club, was jailed for three months last July after writing on the social networking website that mosques should be burned and revenge taken on Muslims following the soldier’s death in Woolwich.
He served half of the sentence.
The front man, from Norris Green in Liverpool, was not released by Albion, instead returning to play for the team a fortnight after his release from prison.
He scored a decisive goal against King’s Lynn Town during his only appearance.
In a public apology Tuck, who left Skelmersdale to join Witton in 2012, denied he was racist and said he was sorry for bringing shame on the club.
However he was sacked by the Northwich club only days later after breaching an agreement he had signed not to use social media.
In a posting on Facebook, hours after his apology had been published, he included in a status update on his personal account derogatory comments about Albion’s league rivals FC United of Manchester and their supporters.
The two were to play each other the next day.
“We gave somebody a second chance because we felt that was the right thing to do,” said Witton chairman Mark Harris at the time.
“If when you do, that individual throws it back in your face there can be only one conclusion.”
After leaving Wincham Park Tuck has played this season for Skelmersdale, Vauxhall Motors and, most recently, Warrington.
He did not take part in the latter’s promotion play-off semi final defeat against Bamber Bridge on Tuesday, though did play from the start of the Yellows’ final Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North encounter last Saturday.