Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 17:23 UK

Ten-pint former footballer banned

Malcolm Allen in Newcastle colours
Malcolm Allen played in the Premiership for Newcastle United

A former Wales and Premiership football player has been given a suspended jail sentence and a ban for drink-driving.

Football pundit Malcolm Allen, 41, of Cranefield Drive, Watford, played for Wales, Newcastle, Norwich and Watford.

He admitted drinking up to 10 pints of beer when stopped by a Police Community Support Officer in Hertfordshire.

At Stevenage Magistrates' Court he pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and was given a four-week jail sentence suspended for two years.

He was banned from driving for three years but opted to take a specialist court-appointed driver's course to cut the disqualification period to 27 months.

Allen must also attend at least six sessions of an alcohol treatment course.

I have been a fool
Malcolm Allen

Stevenage magistrates were told that he and his passenger were "paralytic".

Prosecutor Charlotte Rind said both Allen and his passenger were seen coming out of a white van "looking drunk and staggering" after stopping off for a Chinese takeaway on 20 February.

Allen failed a roadside breath test and was found to have 110mg of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when tested at a police station.

He told officers: "It could have been a lot worse and I'm glad that no-one was hurt.

"I have been a fool. I'm going to possibly lose my job and possibly my media work."

Allen, originally from Deiniolen, Gwynedd, recalled drinking eight or nine pints on his night out, and told officers it might have been as many as 10.

He said he had not expected to drive and thought he would get a train back to Watford, the court heard.

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