Oldham are set to complete a shock move for Lee Hughes when he is released from prison this summer.
Hughes, 31, has not played professional football since he was sentenced to six years' imprisonment in August 2004 after being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.
Latics director Barry Owen has been instrumental in striking the deal to bring Hughes to Boundary Park and is calling on fans not to pass 'moral judgement' on the former West Brom striker.
Owen told the club's official website: 'Oldham Athletic does not condone what happened and we are very sympathetic towards the family of the victim. However, Lee Hughes is now nearing the end of his sentence and he has paid the price for what occurred.
'As far as the club is concerned, Lee deserves a second chance and we consider this a top-class signing. We would ask supporters and the general public not to pass moral judgement.
'Lee Hughes is currently serving his sentence in one of Her Majesty's Prisons and the club will not make any comment which would prejudice his upcoming parole hearing. We hope that, if his hearing is successful, Lee will be available to play for Oldham near to the start of the season.'