Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Northern Ireland star Bobby Campbell and wife to face court charged with fraud

By Adrian Rutherford

A former footballer who was part of Northern Ireland's 1982 World Cup squad will appear in court next week charged with fraud.

Bobby Campbell is accused of defrauding a working men's club in England where he worked as a steward. The 57-year-old, who was capped twice by his country, played for a number of English clubs including Bradford City and Aston Villa.

Campbell and his wife Paula have both been charged with three counts of fraud and are expected to appear in court next Friday.

The Newtownabbey-born striker, who scored a record 137 goals for Bradford, was arrested last year with his wife over allegations of fraud at Lindley Working Men's Club in Huddersfield.

The alleged offences occurred between December 30, 2011 and December 30, 2012.

Campbell has previously described some of the allegations against him as petty and others as "blatant lies".

He and his wife were charged on Tuesday after answering bail.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "A man and woman will appear before Kirklees Magistrates Court later this month charged with fraud by abuse of position.

"Robert Campbell (57) and Paula Campbell (56) from Lindley will appear before Kirklees magistrates on March 28 after being charged with three counts each of the offence.

"The charges relate to allegations of fraud at a working men's club on Brian Street, Lindley."

The charges follow a long-running police investigation which began last July.

It is understood police were contacted by an individual at the club. The amount of money the couple are alleged to have taken is £9,629.50.

Campbell is understood to have been dismissed by the club, where he had worked for 25 years, last June. The couple have continued to live on Brian Street – almost directly opposite the club – since their arrest.

Originally from the Rathcoole area of Newtownabbey, Campbell was capped twice by Northern Ireland in the 1982 British Home Championship and was selected for the international squad for that year's World Cup in Spain, but did not play.

When the allegations were first made, Campbell said: "I feel I have been unfairly treated but I am going to have to do my best and fight my corner."

He added: "I should have been celebrating 25 years here with my friends."

PROFILE

Bobby Campbell played for several clubs including Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town before joining Bradford City in 1979. He was the leading scorer every season during two spells over seven years with the Yorkshire side. His goals helped the club to two promotions, in 1982 and 1985. Campbell was capped twice by Northern Ireland. He retired from football in 1988.

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