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Police praise for footballer who helped cops tackle crook

West Midlands Police has thanked a footballer for helping officers tackle a crime suspect who made the schoolboy error of trying to flee through a five-a-side centre.

Traffic cops were on the heels of the man after he made off from a car last night in Willenhall before darting into the ‘Goals Black Country’ pitches off Darlaston Lane.

However, just as he was bearing down on goal a player from one of the teams robbed him of his freedom with a perfectly timed tackle.

It earned him man-of-the-match accolades from the pursuing cops who swiftly had the 18-year-old in cuffs and issued a straight red card. 

The drug deal suspect scored an own goal by running into a 5-a-side centre (File Image)
The drug deal suspect scored an own goal by running into a 5-a-side centre (File Image)

West Midlands Police Traffic Sergeant Jon Butler said he’d run out of superlatives to describe the Good Samaritan’s actions…but still had plenty of clichés in the locker.

He added: “There were some tired legs out there, you know, but this lad had a little bit left in the tank and managed to find that extra yard of pace to tackle the suspect. 

“Our officers quickly nullified the threat and he was given his marching orders…straight into the back of a police car. 

“There’s no place in football for pitch invasions and this crime suspect was no doubt having nightmares about his decision while locked-up in police custody.

“He should have stayed on-side of the law as now faces the penalty of time behind bars if convicted.”

The suspect, an Albanian national, remains in police custody today having been arrested on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply; officers are also liaising with immigration officials to determine if he’s in the country illegally.

Our traffic cops gave chase after the suspect ran from a car
Our traffic cops gave chase after the suspect ran from a car

A car recovered nearby was searched by officers and a significant quantity of what’s believed to be crack cocaine was recovered.

Sgt Butler added: “Our traffic officers are patrolling the roads of the West Midlands day in, day out, week in, week out to keep the streets safe and to catch criminals.

“They’re giving 110 per cent – but it certainly helps us when you get no-nonsense members of the public also willing to put in a shift to help the side.”

West Midlands Police will be nominating the member of the public for a police bravery award for his actions. 

The suspect remains in police custody.

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