Wigan striker Marlon King has been jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of groping a young woman in a nightclub and then breaking her nose when she spurned his "disgusting'' advances, with the Premier League club confirming they will now sack the player. • King set to appeal
King, who was celebrating both his wife's pregnancy and scoring a winning goal hours earlier, was repeatedly "cold-shouldered'' by women revellers in London's packed Soho Revue Bar last December.
When a slightly-built university student became the latest to recoil from his touch, he lost his temper and in an outburst of "completely gratuitous violence'' lashed out, "smashing'' her to the floor. His single clenched fist blow was so powerful that two other revellers - one of them holding on to his arm - were also sent flying.
While bouncers moved in to restrain the muscular £5 million striker, friends rushed to the aid of his victim. As she was helped to her feet, blood poured from her shattered nose, London's Southwark Crown Court heard.
The 29-year-old, from Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, claimed he was a victim of "mistaken identity''.
But after hearing overwhelming evidence from a string of witnesses, including a football coach who insisted he was the assailant, the jury decided he was lying.
He was unanimously convicted of sexually assaulting the 20-year-old and causing actual bodily harm.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has confirmed that the club will give King notice that his contract at the club will be cancelled following Thursday's news.
Whelan told Sky Sports News: "We have to follow the rules and regulations, which means we will have to give him 40 days notice that his contract will be cancelled.
"He is absolutely sacked - we will not tolerate football players who get sent to jail for 18 months. As far as we are concerned, he is finished with football at Wigan Athletic.''