Non-league Selby Town have been strongly criticised for signing a player who was jailed for domestic violence.
Reece Thompson, who was sentenced to three years in prison for assault and grievous bodily harm and is subject to a 10-year restraining order, was set to feature for the club against Emley on Tuesday night.
Selby had initially reversed a decision to sign the former York City striker, admitting they made a “serious error of judgement” after Thompson had played on a trial basis against Tadcaster in August.
However, in an updated statement, Selby said: “The club does not condone Reece’s actions and we can only imagine the impact upon those involved.
“For what he has done, Reece has rightly been judged in a court of law and served his sentence.
“With that sentence now served and with the ongoing work Reece carries out to understand and learn from his behaviour, we have come to the conclusion that it is not our place to continue to further punish Reece for his actions.”
Fans responded angrily on the club’s social media accounts, with one writing: “Will never go to watch this team is supported all my life again. Please reconsider or accept losing lifelong fans like me.”
Others called the move “disgusting”, “absolutely disgraceful” and “an astonishingly misjudged decision”.
In April 2019 a court heard how Thompson had subjected his partner to a three-day ordeal in which he hit her with an iron bar and forced her to eat paint.