Former Blackpool captain and manager Colin Hendry will have to dig up weeds and tidy up churchyards,cemetaries and playing areas as a punishment for harassing a former partner.
Instead of donning a football tracksuit he will wear a high visibility jacket marked “Community Payback” after he was sentenced to 100 hours’ unpaid work.
Hendry, 49, spent 50 minutes in the glass-sided dock before the judge told him:”It is the volume of messages involved rather than any hostile content which caused your victim distress.”
“What she wants is for you to realise this relationship is over.”
Hendry, who also captained Scotland in an illustrious football career, was placed on a 12-month community order which will include the work and £410 costs which must be paid within 28 days.
The judge added:” You must obey the instructions of those telling you where and when to work and not challenge them.”
Hendry, of Coopers Row, Ansdell, pleaded guilty at Blackpool Magistrates Court to a campaign of harassment against his former fiancee.
It was an affair which blossomed six months after the death of Hendry’s wife Denise, but ended in tears as the ex footballer bombarded Sarah Kinder with unwanted visits,text messages and emails.
After she finished their affair he also made regular and unwanted visits to her then-home in Lytham – once going in via an unlocked door.
He also threw stones at her windows.
Alison Quanbrough, prosecuting, told Deputy District Judge Alan Lloyd-Jones the couple had a five-year relationship and at one stage were engaged.
“It started six months after his wife died,” said the prosecutor. ”At one stage they split up,then got back together, and split up again.”
“He took the breakdown bady and was in emotional turmoil. He wanted to speak with her and reason with her.
“It is fair to say the texts to her were not hostile in nature.
“But some days he would send 10 at a time.
“He says he was worried about her wellbeing.”
“I have spoken to her when she was witness-summonsed to court at an earlier hearing.
“She wants to move on with her life. It has caused her stress and upset and there has been a knock-on effect to both sets of children.”
“She now feels he accepts the relationship is over.
“They have met since and it was cordial.”
Paul Schofield, defending, said that Hendry’s current earnings were intermittent.
“He does hope that will change for the better,” he said. “Mr Hendry says he did not realise at the time what he was doing was harassment.
“She did not want him arrested and since then he has co-operated fully.
“Matters have not been easy for him since the death of his wife.
“He was left with four dependent children aged 10 to 20 to bring up and support.
“He is determined to draw a line under his life and says he will not transgress again.”