Ex-Sheffield Wednesday player warned he could face jail over assault

A former Sheffield Wednesday player has been warned he could face jail over an assault.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 3:05 pm

Ronnie Wallwork, aged 43, who signed for the Owls on a free transfer in January 2008 and played seven games before he was released four months later, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm today in a court hearing in Manchester.

The former midfielder, who also played for Manchester United and clubs including Barnsley, West Bromwich Albion, and Huddersfield Town, admitted assaulting Alan Mulholland in an incident on December 22, 2019.

Co-defendant David Gardner, 43, from Newton Heath, Manchester, admitted the same charge.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A general view of Hillsborough (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Alex Langhorn, representing both men, said there would be a suggestion that a comment was made by the complainant that may have provoked or caused the incident, which is reported to have taken place in a pub.

No further details of the assault were disclosed in the brief hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

Addressing both defendants in the dock, Judge Tina Landale said: “Your guilty pleas will be taken into account in your favour but it is important that I have as much information as possible before I sentence you both so I am ordering a pre-sentence report.

“All sentencing options are open including custodial. I have not ruled anything in or out.”

Ronnie Wallwork (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Both men were bailed and are to be sentenced on March 23.

Wallwork was jailed in December 2011 for 15 months after he was caught selling on parts from stolen high-performance cars.

Police stumbled upon the illegal vehicle-breaking operation in Newton Heath while investigating a string of unconnected armed robberies across Lancashire.

Preston Crown Court heard his ‘promising career’ as a professional footballer was ‘tragically cut short’ when he was the victim of a serious assault in a bar stabbing in Barnsley.

The midfielder, who represented England at under-20 level, joined Manchester United as a trainee in 1993 but struggled to command a first-team place and was loaned to a number of clubs before he joined West Bromwich Albion in 2002.

After his release from prison, Wallwork, from Failsworth, Manchester, returned to football in 2014 signing for Ashton United.