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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Wolves' Player Jailed for Kicking Man to Death


LIVERPOOL, England -- A professional soccer player for English first division side Wolverhampton Wanderers has been jailed for five years for kicking a man to death in a brawl.

James Kelly, 22, was convicted of manslaughter on Tuesday after giving Peter Dunphy a ferocious kick in the head in an early morning fight outside a Liverpool hotel last September.

"It may well be that a sentence of imprisonment will ruin your chosen career," Liverpool Crown Court judge John Kay said. "But you will be able to rebuild your life in the future. The deceased is denied that opportunity by your violent kick and the lives of his loved ones will be severely affected by what occurred that night."

A witness said Kelly had aimed the blow as though he were kicking a ball. Dunphy, 26, died instantly from the blow to the base of the skull and upper neck.

The judge also jailed Kelly's 23-year-old brother John and a third man for nine months each for their role in the attack. The three men, who had been drinking, attacked Dunphy after being refused re-entry to the Bradford Hotel, where they had earlier attended an 18th birthday party.

The judge said John Kelly and Kevin Atkinson punched Dunphy and when he was bent over, "representing no threat to anyone, James Kelly delivered a very, very forceful kick."

Prosecutor David Steer said James Kelly "brought his foot all the way back and aimed a blow at Peter Dunphy's upper body as if kicking a football."

Afterwards, James Kelly shouted, "You wanted it and you got it. You should have let us in."

Wolves manager Graham Taylor was called as a character witness in the case.

He described James Kelly as "extremely popular, trustworthy and with an excellent reputation."

Kelly had signed for Wolves from Wrexham for ?100,000 ($150,000) and had played six times for the first team.


Roger Stanislaus was fired by third division club Leyton Orient on Tuesday, five days after being banned from soccer for one year for using cocaine.

Club directors terminated the contract of Stanislaus, a 27-year-old defender who failed a routine drug test following a match against Barnet in November.

Orient chairman Barry Hearn said the one-year ban was lenient and the club decided to dismiss the player to preserve the good name of Orient and of soccer in general.

Stanislaus did not attend the meeting where the decision wasa made, but Hearn phoned to tell him the outcome.

"He expected it. He was resigned to it and took it in good grace," Hearn said.


Second-half goals by Darren Bullock and Andy Booth gave Huddersfield a 2-0 win over Peterborough on Tuesday night and sent the first division club into the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1972.

Two other FA Cup fourth-round games -- Bolton vs. Leeds and Ipswich vs. Walsall -- were among the 14 matches in England and Scotland that were postponed Tuesday because of heavy snow.


Faustino Asprilla's transfer to Newcastle has been settled, the chairman of the Premier League leaders said Wednesday.

"As I understand it, the deal has been sorted out and hopefully he will be coming to Newcastle to sign," Sir John Hall told BBC radio. "We should hopefully get a work permit and I cannot see any reason why we should not complete the deal with the player."

Asprilla's ?6.7-million transfer from Italian club AC Parma has been held up by a series of wrangles.

Parma president Giorgio Pedraneschi on Sunday said his club canceled the deal after Newcastle raised questions about an Asprilla knee injury and sought a lower price. But the clubs resumed talks this week and agreed to go ahead with the transfer.

Asprilla's 3 1/2 seasons with Parma have been dotted with off-the-field controversies and clashes with coach Nevio Scala. He joined Parma in 1992 and has scored 25 goals in 84 Italian first division matches. ()