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How Man Utd star turned to a life of crime

A former Manchester United player - who once starred alongside the likes of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes - was today facing sentence for handling stolen goods.

Ronnie Wallwork descended from a Premier League career to breaking up stolen car parts in a rented scrapyard unit in just two years.

Police stumbled upon the operation while investigating a string of unconnected armed robberies, one of which led to the shooting of a security guard.



ENGINE

Wallwork joined United as a trainee in 1993 but struggled to command a first team place and was loaned to a number of clubs before he joined West Bromwich Albion in 2002.

Loan periods at Bradford City, Barnsley and Huddersfield Town followed before he moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 2008 where he made just seven appearances.

Wallwork pleaded guilty to three counts of receiving stolen goods at an earlier hearing. The 34-year-old was due to be sentenced today.

His best friend, Siobhan Johnstone (34) was cleared last month of handling the same stolen goods.

She had sold a Volkswagen Touran engine and car parts from a BMW 318i on eBay on behalf of Wallwork who kept her in the dark about where they had come from.

A Mazda Furano was also parked on her driveway at the ex-footballer's request.

The VW Touran had been stolen from an address in Worsley, the BMW was taken from Wigan and the Mazda from outside a garage in Harrogate.



TARGETS

The red Mazda found its way the following day to 10 Arches scrapyard in Manchester where Wallwork was based.

The main targets of the police operation were career criminals Craig Bulger and Mark Cain - who shot the guard several times at a Tesco branch.

Bulger, 51, was tracked to a scrapyard in Manchester where Wallwork came to the attention of the authorities in 2010 as the site became the focus of heavy surveillance.

hnews@herald.ie


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