20-month ban for Canary star

NORWICH City footballer Matty Pattison was today banned from driving for 20 months after admitting a drink drive charge.The 21-year-old pleaded guilty as Norwich Magistrates Court heard he was twice over the legal drink drive limit when he was arrested outside the Canaries' Colney training ground on March 16.

NORWICH City footballer Matty Pattison was today banned from driving for 20 months after admitting a drink drive charge.

The 21-year-old pleaded guilty as Norwich Magistrates Court heard he was twice over the legal drink drive limit when he was arrested outside the Canaries' Colney training ground on March 16.

The midfielder had been to Mercy nightclub until 4.30am the previous night and drove to the training ground at 8.30am, in the mistaken belief that it was Monday and he had training.

He was given a 20- month driving ban, reduced by five months if he completes a drink driver rehabilitation course. Magistrates' chairman John Rockliff fined Pattison £2,300 and ordered him to pay £60 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Mark Davis, prosecuting, said Pattison had admitted being "drunk" after returning from a Norwich nightclub at 4.30am.

Mr Davis said Pattison admitted in interview that he "still felt drunk' when he woke up but had decided to drive his Jeep Cherokee seven miles to the training ground in Colney, near Norwich.

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The previous day he had played for Norwich in his side's 2-0 defeat at Sheffield United.

Mr Davis said police were called by Ben Lee, who works at Dunston Hall hotel, near Norwich, where Pattison has been staying since joining the struggling Coca-Cola Championship side from Newcastle late last year.

Mr Lee told police he had spoken to Pattison, whose "speech was slurred' and breath suggested he was "intoxicated', before he drove away, the court heard.

After the case, Pattison, in a statement read by his solicitor, Simon Nicholls, said: "I sincerely regret the actions which have led to me coming to court today.

"I fully accept the sentence handed to me by the magistrates and I am determined to learn from my mistake.

"I would like to say sorry to the magistrates and the police for taking up their time.'

A spokesman for Norwich, where celebrity chef Delia Smith is a joint majority shareholder, added: "Matty genuinely and sincerely regrets his behaviour and the club will support his determination to learn from this serious breach of his position of responsibility as a Norwich City player.'