Sacked Smith joins Northampton
Published 26/06/2015 | 14:31
Two of the three Leicester players sacked following the emergence of a sexually-explicit video in which racist language was used have found new clubs.
Goalkeeper Adam Smith, 22, has signed a two-year deal with the Cobblers and became the first of the trio of ex-Foxes players to find a new team after he was axed along with James Pearson and Tom Hopper earlier this month.
Hopper later signed for League One side Scunthorpe.
Leicester terminated the contracts of Pearson, son of Foxes boss Nigel, and the two other players following an internal investigation into a leaked video of an orgy during a 'goodwill tour' of Thailand in which one woman was called a "slit-eye".
Nine days after Smith, Pearson and Hopper were released by the Barclays Premier League side, the former has now joined League Two club Northampton and revealed he is grateful for the opportunity.
Speaking to the local media on Friday morning, he said: "Obviously everyone knows I got myself in a situation that I'm deeply ashamed of and sorry for. I'm pleased the manager here has given me a second chance and it's down to me
"We're all deeply ashamed and sorry - all three of us that took part in it.
"I know the club here do a lot to do with anti-racism and I'm hoping to get involved in stuff like that.
"The way the papers said it... they've come out as if all three of us are racist but it was one comment, that wasn't made by me, I don't want that floating above my head. If I've got to do (anti-)racism work to prove that, I'll do that."
Cobblers manager Chris Wilder insisted the club did their due diligence on the incident and were happy to offer Smith a second chance.
Wilder was in charge of Oxford in 2013 when they handed goalkeeper Luke McCormick a route back into the Football League after he had bee n jailed for causing the death of two children by dangerous driving.
On Smith, Wilder added: "We understand that there will be talk and discussion about what's happened at Leicester and the situation there.
"We all understand that we live in a society that offers people second chances. I've met the boy, he's obviously disappointed in what's happened and his actions and he has to move on and get on with his life and his career and we're giving him an opportunity to do that here at this football club.
"I think you have to go through all of the details of what's happened and I've been a manager for quite a while now so I've had certain situations in my managerial career that I've had to do with that are not straightforward situations.
"It's not been taken lightly, this decision. I spoke to the player as well and we're comfortable now that we can move on. The boy needs to get himself going and do his talking on the football pitch."
Hopper has also found a new club.
The 21-year-old, who scored four goals in 12 appearances during a loan spell with the Iron last season, has shown remorse for the incident, according to a Scunthorpe statement.
It read: "The club would like to make it clear that we are fully aware of the recent publicity surrounding the young striker and have put a considerable amount of thought into the decision to sign him.
"However, Tom is a player that we are very much aware of, having signed him on loan last season, and we feel that we know his true character, which was not represented by this regrettable incident.
"While we fully understand the position taken by Leicester City in this matter and we do not condone Tom's actions, we have discussed the issue at length with the player and he has shown a great deal of remorse and a real willingness to rehabilitate himself. The player accepts fully that his actions were unacceptable and takes full responsibility.
"We understand that youngsters can make mistakes, but we are a club who believe in giving people a second chance when they have shown a genuine desire to make amends.
"The club hopes that our supporters understand our position on this matter and will allow Tom to do his talking on the pitch, in the knowledge that we will be working with the player closely to rebuild his reputation and ensure there is no repeat of his recent indiscretion."