Banbury United Football Club player issues public apology after drugs conviction

Henry Landers, a player for Banbury United Football Club, has issued a public apology after a recent drugs conviction.
Henry Landers, a player for Banbury United Football Club, has issued a public apology after a recent drugs conviction.Henry Landers, a player for Banbury United Football Club, has issued a public apology after a recent drugs conviction.
Henry Landers, a player for Banbury United Football Club, has issued a public apology after a recent drugs conviction.

The board of directors for the Banbury United Football Club suspended Henry Landers earlier this month for two weeks after his sentencing for the drugs offence.

Henry Landers has now issued an apology as part of a BUFC statement.

He said: "I would like to thank the board of directors at Banbury United FC for their decision to keep believing in me and giving me a second chance.

"I know this has caused negative publicity to the club and for that I’m truly very sorry. I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly apologise to Andy, my teammates, our supporters and to all our sponsors for any distress this will also have caused them during the past two weeks. I’m fully committed to the rehabilitation program that I’ve been given, and I will not let people down.

"I can assure everyone connected to Banbury United FC and who’s supported me in my football career that I’m very grateful to be given this second chance, and that I’ll work and train harder than ever to do the best for our club, and to become the best footballer and ambassador I can be for our sport “

Henry Landers, aged 21, of Cranley Road, Oxford, was sentenced earlier this month for a drug supply offence. He pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to supply a class A drug, namely cocaine, in a hearing at Oxford Crown Court on September 15).

The board of directors for Banbury United has confirmed it has agreed to retain Henry Landers following the recent news of his conviction for possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

The board issued a statement about the matter, which said: "The board acknowledge that Henry committed a serious criminal offence in May 2020, prior to joining the club.

"A decision on his future could have been taken out of our hands had he been committed to serve a custodial sentence. However, the Crown Court Recorder agreed that in sentencing him to 14 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, she was prepared to take an ‘exceptional course’. As a club we feel we are best placed to assist Henry take that path.

"The club suspended Henry for 14 days to review the case. During this time we have taken further clarification on the legal aspects of the case and Henry’s potential rehabilitation programme. We have met with Henry on two occasions, and also discussed this with our major stakeholders and noted views of others, included our members.

"Our investigations and feedback lead us to conclude that we can play a positive role in Henry’s future and help him ensure that this case will not be repeated.

"Henry is a young talented footballer and football is his main passion. We believe that our highly professional staff and playing squad and the club as a whole can be a positive influence on Henry to help him develop as a player and a person.

"However, ultimately this is down to Henry. He must be fully committed to the rehabilitation programme assigned to him.

"Drug misuse and dependency can lead to a range of harms for users and we have made it absolutely clear to Henry that any repetition of this behaviour, however slight, will result in his dismissal.

"This has not been a straightforward decision to make. We pride ourselves on being a community club, and in six years’ of supporters ownership many people have contributed to the positive way we are viewed in Banbury and beyond. We hope people will recognise the positive intent in our decision for Henry to remain with us.

"Subject to ratification from the FA, Henry is available to play Saturday."

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