FRANK MCAVEN­NIE

Midweek Sport - - MAYHEM - By JON LIVESEY

NOW the footie sea­son is in full flow you can watch the sport’s pam­pered prima don­nas.

But in our fea­ture, we’re re­mind­ing you of the vi­o­lent nut­ters, randy rebels and pea­cock­ing play­boys who over the years have graced the beau­ti­ful game with their pres­ence.

Ev­ery week we’ll be look­ing at a dif­fer­ent one of the sport’s most men­tal mav­er­icks.

And this week it’s the orig­i­nal 80s play­boy Frank McAven­nie. lines, he ad­mits that his drug use spi­ralled out of con­trol af­ter his re­tire­ment.

McAven­nie saw out his play­ing days with spells at As­ton Villa, Celtic, Swin­don, Falkirk and St Mir­ren, be­fore hang­ing up his boots for good in 1995.

That year he was ar­rested in Dover with £100,000 of his own money seized by cus­toms, who said it was go­ing to fund a ma­jor drug deal.

McAven­nie claimed that the cash was to fund an ex­pe­di­tion to a sunken trea­sure ship, but the judge backed the cus­toms of­fi­cers.

Then, in 2000, he stood trial at New­cas­tle Crown Court charged with con­spir­acy to sup­ply drugs and even spent a month on re­mand at Durham Prison.

Although he was later cleared, he says the whole episode con­vinced him to get his life back to­gether.

He said: “There were some right vil­lains in there and I was de­ter­mined never to go back.

“That month in­side brought me to my senses. It was the kick up the back­side I needed.”

McAven­nie, 53, cred­its his sec­ond wife Karen with res­cu­ing him from a dan­ger­ous life.

Asked if he has any re­grets, he said: “Only one. I went to Colch­ester one day and it pissed down the whole time. I wish I’d never bloody both­ered.”

FRANKS FOR THAT! McAven­nie with top­less stunna Jenny and in his pomp at West Ham

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