Dave Hudson issues statement on move for Hughes

Last updated : 01 June 2007 By The Chairman
Dave Hudson of Trust Oldham has issued the following statement regarding the controversial attempt to sign prisoner Lee Hughes:

"I have been quoted in several newspapers this morning on behalf of Trust Oldham with me coming over as being against the Lee Hughes signing and I would like to put the record straight. Yesterday I held an eight-and-a-half-minute interview with Express Newspapers over the telephone in which I was very supportive of the club in the signing of Lee Hughes. I know that our Trust Chairman (Barry Owen) has been heavily involved with getting this off the ground and he has had my full support and the support of the rest of the Trust Directors in all matters."

"I stated that Lee had served his time in prison for his misconduct and that everybody deserved a second chance in life. If he had been doing a 'normal' job would he have had the newspapers on his back demanding that he should not continue in whatever line of work he knows best. When questioned about his fitness I explained that I had received reports of Lee looking physically fit and that the club would be giving him a training regime to follow up until his release on parole. I stated that whilst I thought that the publicity surrounding this event was not the sort of publicity we want for our club (although any publicity would be good publicity for a little club like ours)."

"Whilst I have great sympathy with the families that were affected by this incident and I am sorry that they are now having to suffer again with this being dragged up once more. This is always going to happen when a high-profile person is released from prison. It is the nature of the Press these days to want to highlight every little move that this person may make giving no thoughts to the feelings of the people that it affects. The Trust as a whole is positively behind this deal and we all hope that if Lee can regain anywhere close to his form that he once had it could well be an exciting time for Oldham Athletic. I am very disappointed with Express Newspapers for only picking out half of a sentence I made to try to dramatise the comments that I was trying to get across."