Derby County footballers fined six weeks' wages for drink driving crash

4 October 2019, 23:21

Lawrence and Bennett were fined six weeks' wages
Lawrence and Bennett were fined six weeks' wages. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett have been fined the "equivalent of six weeks' wages" by Derby County Football Club for drink driving.

The club condemned the pair for bringing the club into disrepute following the "alcohol-related incident" on 24 September.

Bennett said he was "ashamed" for his role in the collision in which the pair were lucky to escape uninjured.

Derby County ordered the duo to complete an "additional 80 hours of community and rehabilitation" including a drink awareness course.

Midfielder Lawrence, 25, and forward Bennett, 23, crashed in Derby's Allestree area last week with club captain Richard Keogh suffering a serious leg injury.

A club statement said: "The club will not tolerate any of its players or staff behaving in a manner which puts themselves, their colleagues, and members of the general public at risk of injury or worse, or which brings the club into disrepute.

"Both Lawrence and Bennett are therefore being fined the equivalent of six weeks' wages - the maximum contractual limit - and will serve an additional 80 hours of community and rehabilitation, which will include a drink aware course."

It added they will be making no further comments on the incident.

Defender and club captain Keogh suffered a serious knee injury
Defender and club captain Keogh suffered a serious knee injury. Picture: PA

Bennett added: "On the night of Tuesday, September 24, I made huge mistakes after consuming alcohol. What I did was wrong.

"Being a footballer and someone who young fans look up to I know the example I set is key. I am ashamed. At 23 I am old enough and I was brought up to know better."

The forward took responsibility for his actions and said he would accept the punishment issued by the club, saying "I understand that such actions have serious consequences."

He continued: "I have to and will learn from these events and will strive to be a better person.

"There's no excuse for what I've done. I'm sorry to my family, my friends, the club, all Derby supporters and to the wider football community, I let you all down."

Bennett and Lawrence will appear in court to answer charges of drink-driving on 15 October.

Police confirmed a Range Rover Sport and a Mercedes GLC collided on the night of the crash.