Footballers are global celebrities in the modern-day, and no aspect of their lives seems to be away from the spotlight. While they are celebrities, some of them also end up on the wrong side of the law. Here are the top ten players that have served a prison sentence.
Top 10 footballers to serve a prison sentence
10. Duncan Ferguson
Duncan Ferguson is an Everton club legend and is one of Scotland’s best strikers ever.
He has had four convictions for assault, one of which was for a head-butt on Raith Rovers defender John McStay in 1994. This is one of the rare occasions when an incident on the pitch has resulted in a conviction.
9. Joey Barton
Barton served two prison sentences, first for running his car into a pedestrian in Liverpool City Centre, and serving 77 days. He was also suspended from football for assaulting Manchester City teammate Ousmane Dabo.
8. Tony Adams
The England centre-back battled alcoholism throughout his 19-year career with Arsenal. Adams got a sentence of four months in December 1990 but was released early in February. He then crashed his car into a wall near his house and was found to be 27 times over the legal alcohol limit.
7. Ian Wright
Wright served a prison sentence at the age of 19 for declining to pay insurance or taxes for his two automobiles. He spent two weeks at Chelmsford Prison in 1982, and that incident changed his life.
6. George Best
George Best is infamous for his personal life away from the pitch and his struggles with addiction. In 1984, the football star was convicted of drunk driving, assaulting a police officer, and failing to answer bail, he was given a three-month sentence.
One of the greatest players to ever kick a ball, Ronaldinho spent five months in prison after forging passports to enter Paraguay in 2020. He and his brother were also asked to pay $200,000 as fine as the Brazilian turned 40 behind bars.
4. Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson was convicted in 2016 for child sex offences and was immediately sacked by Sunderland. He served half of his sentence and was released for good behaviour.
3. Rene Higuita
Rene Higuita is famous for his scorpion kick clearance in the game between England and Colombia. He was convicted for being involved in a kidnapping that involved Pablo Escobar. He spent seven months inside the jail in Bogota.
2. Benjamin Mendy
Benjamin Mendy has been accused of seven charges of rape and sexual assault in 2021. He was switched from HMP Altcourse to HMP Manchester due to concerns over safety, and has been currently released on bail, and suspended by Manchester City. He will stand trial in late January 2022.
1. Bruno Fernandes de Souza
Bruno Fernandes de Souza committed the most gruesome crime of all on the list. In July 2010, he was formally charged with murder, kidnapping, hiding a body, forming a criminal gang (conspiracy) and corrupting minors. He confessed to the crime in 2013, and the court sentenced him to a 22-year jail term for the assault, torture and murder of his former girlfriend and mother of his youngest child.