Judge orders arrest of former Northern Ireland footballer Keith Gillespie

Keith Gillespie
Keith Gillespie

A judge yesterday issued an arrest warrant for former Northern Ireland winger Keith Gillespie.

District Judge Mark Hamill made the order after hearing that there was “no response” when 39-year-old Gillespie’s named was called at Newtownards Magistrates Court.

The former winger for Newcastle United and Manchester United was due to appear charged with breaching a non-molestation order on January 21, by being “in the vicinity of the Hamilton Road”.

A police officer told the court he believes he could connect Gillespie to the offence.

Judge Hamill said by failing to turn up to court Gillespie had breached his bail.

Declared legally bankrupt in 2010, Gillespie, of Ballycrochan Avenue in Bangor, wrote in his autobiography that he had spent around £7m as part of a gambling addiction.

In his playing career Gillespie earned 86 caps for Northern Ireland.

He made his debut in September 1994, and finished his international career in 2008, playing a vital role in the famous 3-2 win against World and European champions Spain at Windsor Park in September 2006.

Signed by Manchester United as a youngster in 1991, Gillespie played for the team until he was sold to Newcastle in 1995, where he came close to winning the Premiership title under Kevin Keegan.

Following his spell in England, Gillespie made a shock move to east Belfast club Glentoran in 2009.