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Sport: Football: News In Brief


Monday, April 19, 1999 Published at 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK

Scots player 'took hard drugs'

Scottish football has been hit by a new scandal, after the captain of Berwick Rangers admitted he has been playing football with a drug problem for more than a decade.

Martin Neil, 29, has decided to speak openly about his problem in a bid to salvage his career at the Scottish Third Division club.

Neil, who says he has never been drug-tested, told the Scottish Sun he has taken amphetamines, LSD and cocaine, and fears his addiction will kill him.

He said: "I have been told that if I play football again under the influence of drugs I could end up having a heart attack on the pitch. I know I have a problem and I need to get it sorted out. My lifestyle is out of hand and I fear it could kill me.

"I have even taken drugs in the dressing room 20 minutes before a match. It was a good few years ago and I paid the price, I started the match on speed and ended it on crutches."


Barnsley sack Hendrie

Barnsley have sacked manager John Hendrie after less than a year in charge at Oakwell.

Hendrie replaced Danny Wilson at Oakwell last summer following Danny Wilson's departure to Sheffield Wednesday.

The club, 16th in Division One, have appointed Eric Winstanley as caretaker-manager, with Peter Shirtliff his assistant.


Newcastle set to sign French star

Newcastle United are understood to have reached a deal to bring Paris St Germain defender Alain Goma to St James's Park.

The 26-year-old centre-back is expected to arrive in the north-east in the summer in a 3.5m move.

Neither boss Ruud Gullit nor the club have confirmed the move, but Gullit and chairman Freddy Shepherd flew to France after last weekend's Cup semi-final.


Fergie: I won't quit after Euro win

Alex Ferguson says he would not retire should Manchester United finally win the Champions' Cup.

Ferguson has always admitted his desire to win the top prize in European club football since but even if United won it this year he insists he would stay.

"People keep asking me whether I would retire if we won the European Cup but what do you do when it is all over?

"All of a sudden do you wake up and say 'that's me finished'? I don't think you can look at it like that."


Merson targets England return

Paul Merson has set his sights on a return to the England team to help him recover after his alcoholism "relapse".

The Aston Villa midfielder admitted he had drunk a bottle and a half of vodka after a row with wife Lorraine.

But he believes setting himself the target of an England recall will help him in his latest personal battle.

"I had no complaints about being left out of the squad for the match with Poland but if I am right I can get back into the England squad." he said.


Millwall fans behave themselves

Millwall's followers helped improve their club's reputation at the weekend - even if their club could not win the Auto Windscreens Shield at Wembley.

The south London club's fans outnumbered Wigan supporters five to one for Sunday's 1-0 final defeat but more supporters of the Lancashire club were arrested.

Only five of around 45,000 Lions fans were arrested, compared with six from Wigan in the 55,349 crowd.





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