Belfast Telegraph

Bannan expresses drink-drive regret

Aston Villa midfielder Barry Bannan has admitted there would have been "no point in me living" had his drink-fuelled motorway crash resulted in any loss of life.

Bannan had an accident in his Range Rover Sport on the M1 near Watnall on October 23 whilst over the legal drink-drive limit. He fled the scene, and was arrested in a taxi office. The Scotland international, who only held a provisional licence, was fined £4,500 and banned from driving for 18 months.

Despite this, the midfielder believes he has had a lucky escape, and said: "It still goes through my head now, it was a huge mistake and I regret everything I've done. It will never happen again. As much as I regret it, I'm so lucky to be still here today."

He added: "If I hit another car and killed someone else, then there's no point in me living, really, after the things that would be going through my head.

"I'm lucky to be where I am today."

Bannan was speaking as the new face of the West Midlands Police 'Christmas Don't Drink and Drive Campaign', and added that he won't be tempted to repeat his mistakes this festive season.

"It'll still be with me for the rest of my life in the back of my head," he said.

Villa manager Alex McLeish has backed Bannan to put the incident behind him and continue his football education.

McLeish said: "He's got to now totally concentrate and be totally professional and try to make himself the best he can possibly be."

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