Non-league club Selby Town have backtracked on their signing of Reece Thompson.
The former Lincoln City youth player, who had spells with the likes of York City, North Ferriby United and Guiseley, was jailed in April 2019 for battering his former girlfriend.
The semi-professional team who play in the Northern Counties East League Division One, the ninth tier of the pyramid, released a lengthy statement on Tuesday confirming they had signed the player after a trial.
But they have now cancelled that deal after a backlash which saw a sponsor confirm their withdrawal of support from the club and multiple supporters voice their concerns.
The club said on Wednesday: “Further to our previous statement, we have listened to all of the comments and Reece Thompson will not be signing for Selby Town Football Club.”
Danielle Thomas, from Doncaster, was left fearing for her life when she suffered a broken jaw and severe bruising during a three-day ordeal at the hands of the footballer.
Thompson, 26, was sentenced to a 40-month custodial sentence along with a ten-year restraining order for domestic violence after he pleaded guilty to damaging property, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and inflicting grievous bodily harm.
His victim told court previously: “Reece repeatedly hit me. He hit me with an iron bar, broke my jaw and smashed a mirror over my head.
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“I was made to lick paint up off the floor and then he smashed another mirror over my head. It was when he picked up the second mirror that I thought I was going to die, I screamed for him to stop or he would kill me.
“He told me to get my arms down and take the beating like a real person.”
Thompson was sent back to prison in February 2020, a month after his release after posting a number of inappropriate tweets in relation to his conviction.
He also came under fire for announcing he was “digging his boots out” and looking for a club.
Selby Town, a semi-professional team who play in the Northern Counties East League Division One, the ninth tier of the pyramid, have now released a statement confirming they have signed Thompson following a trial.
They initially stated they would not be signing the player to due the response from fans but have now performed a U-turn and defended their decision.