U's boss talks of 'terrible mistake'

THE former chief executive of Colchester United has apologised to fans and spoken of his “terrible mistake” after being arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

THE former chief executive of Colchester United has apologised to fans and spoken of his “terrible mistake” after being arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

Steve Bradshaw, 43, resigned from his post at the club yesterday in connection with the alleged offence, which happened on December 14.

Mr Bradshaw had a minor road accident in Bradfield following the team's Christmas lunch at Qube in Colchester.

Although he had thought he was under the legal limit to drive, he failed a police breathalyser test and was arrested.

He was later released on police bail until March next year.

Yesterday Mr Bradshaw, who took over as chief executive of the U's a year ago, told the EADT he deeply regretted what he had done.

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“I made a terrible mistake and I will pay the ultimate price. That doesn't make it right. It was a grave error of judgement,” he said.

Mr Bradshaw, who is also deputy chairman of the town's local strategic partnership, Colchester2020, said: “I had been to the playing staff's Christmas lunch.

“I went there at about 4pm. I thought I had three glasses of wine. I left at 7pm.

“My biggest concern is for my family. My main concern is how they are going to be treated.

“I would like to apologise to the fans.

“Part of my regret is that we have tried to build the football club over the last year on community values, and making a mistake like this has let people in the community down.”

U's chairman Robbie Cowling, who appointed Mr Bradshaw as chief executive 12 months ago, expressed his regret at the news.

He added: “I have regretfully accepted Steve's resignation.

“He has been with us for just over a year and the club has made significant progress in our aims and ambitions in that time.

“I wish him all the very best for the future.”

Mr Bradshaw graduated as a teacher in 1989.

He started at Colchester United in 1995 as project manager of the club's Football in the Community Programme and went on to become chief executive of the club's community sports trust. In 2003 he was declared the Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

He was appointed as chief executive of the U's last December following the resignation of Marie Partner.

A spokesman for Essex Police said yesterday: “A 43-year-old man from the Clacton area who was arrested at Bradfield on Monday December 14 on suspicion of drink driving has been bailed until March 10 next year pending further inquiries.”

Following his resignation, a Colchester United spokesman said: “Steve Bradshaw, who joined the U's in December 2008 from the Colchester United Community Sports Trust, leaves his position with immediate effect.

“Steve Bradshaw was involved in a minor road accident last Monday. He subsequently failed a breathalyser test.”

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