Ex-Town coach in police quiz

FORMER Ipswich Town coach Ian Smith has been arrested on suspicion of deception, it emerged today.The 48-year-old was quizzed by detectives after he allegedly persuaded a potential investor into handing him thousands of pounds.

FORMER Ipswich Town coach Ian Smith has been arrested on suspicion of deception, it emerged today.

The 48-year-old was quizzed by detectives after he allegedly persuaded a potential investor into handing him thousands of pounds.

It is understood the person who has made a complaint to the police is a former youth team player brought through the ranks by Smith.

Smith's role as assistant to academy director Bryan Klug saw him groom a number of youngsters ready for the Town first team, including England star Darren Bent, his Charlton team mate Darren Ambrose and their former Town colleagues Matt Richards, Ian Westlake and Dean Bowditch.


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The alleged offence was committed between March and July this year. Smith was arrested on November 14 by detectives who were responding to a complaint made to them.

Smith, who lives in Great Yeldham, Essex, will answer bail at Felixstowe Police Station on January 10, when he will find out if police intend to take any further action about the matter.

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A police spokeswoman confirmed: “A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of deception and has been released on bail.”

Smith, a former Tottenham Hotspur player, left his job as assistant academy director after Town took part in an international youth tournament in Italy in April, although no announcement was made by the club until July.

A statement released at the time said: “Former academy coach Ian left the club's employment on April 30, 2004 by mutual agreement. The club has no further comment on this matter.”

The Star understands his departure relates to an incident that occurred while an Ipswich under-18 squad was involved in the eight-team Claudio Sassi Memorial Tournament.

As a coach, Smith's greatest achievement came in 2001 when his Town team claimed the FA Academy League Under-18 title, with a team including Bent, Ambrose, Richards and Westlake.

The Star attempted to contact Smith but was unable to do so.

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