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Ex-Albion star's jail release date

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Shamed footballer Lee Hughes is to be freed from prison on August 20 and is expected to be playing first-team football a few days later, the Express & Star can reveal today. Shamed footballer Lee Hughes is to be freed from prison on August 20 and is expected to be playing first-team football a few days later, the Express & Star can reveal today. The 31-year-old former West Bromwich Albion striker is due to take a week's holiday before joining his new club Oldham Athletic. The deal with the League One side was signed in Featherstone Prison, near Wolverhampton, where Hughes has been serving a six-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving. Club spokesman Gordon Lawton said today: "We're really looking forward to it, it's been a long time coming." Read the full story in today's Express & Star.

Shamed footballer Lee Hughes is to be freed from prison on August 20 and is expected to be playing first-team football a few days later, the Express & Star can reveal today.

The 31-year-old former West Bromwich Albion striker is due to take a week's holiday before joining his new club Oldham Athletic.

The deal with the League One side was signed in Featherstone Prison, near Wolverhampton, where Hughes has been serving a six-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving.

Club spokesman Gordon Lawton said today: "We're really looking forward to it, it's been a long time coming."

Smethwick-born Hughes had been pinning his hopes on the outcome of a recent parole hearing and was putting himself through a tough fitness regime behind bars in a bid to return to the game in time for the start of the season.

Oldham Athletic were told this week of the release date. He will miss their first game of the season on August 11 against Swansea but is expected to be available for the game against Bristol Rovers on August 25 at the club's Boundary Park home.

Mr Lawton said: "We've been told he'll probably take a week's holiday when he comes out but he'll be available soon after that.

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"Although he'll be around for the Bristol Rovers match, we expect him to play in a reserve game or two first. It depends on how fit he's been keeping himself in prison. But we understand he's been keeping himself fit inside and should be close to match-ready when he gets out."

Oldham's chief executive Alan Hardy said the club has had little contact with Hughes over a pre-season training programme.

"He knows what he has to do," said Mr Hardy.

Hughes, who started his professional career with Kidderminster Harriers, will have served just half of his six-year prison sentence.

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He was travelling in his £100,000 Mercedes in Meriden, near Coventry, in November, 2003, when the fatal collision took place. His car hit a vehicle carrying Douglas and Maureen Graham. Mr Graham was killed instantly. His widow died in her sleep 13 months later.

West Bromwich Albion sacked Hughes from his £16,000-a-week contract just minutes after the jury returned its guilty verdict at Coventry Crown Court in 2004. However, the former Coventry forward negotiated a move to Oldham while still in prison. Oldham have called on fans not to pass "moral judgment" on Hughes.

Exclusive by Marion Brennan

Picture: Julie Howden

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