Belfast Telegraph

Former Northern Ireland star and wife are quizzed on fraud claims

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK

A former footballer who was part of Northern Ireland's famous 1982 World Cup squad has been arrested over allegations of fraud.

Bobby Campbell, who is English club Bradford City's all-time leading goalscorer, is accused of defrauding a working men's club where he worked as a steward.

The 56-year-old's wife Paula (55) was also arrested and bailed pending further inquiries by police investigating a complaint of fraud at Lindley Working Men's Club in Huddersfield.

Mr Campbell is understood to have left his job at the club – where he had worked for 25 years – in June.

The ex-international footballer had previously described some of the allegations against him as petty and others as "blatant lies".

A police spokesman said: "A 56-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman, both from the Lindley area of Huddersfield, have now been arrested in connection with the matter and bailed pending further inquiries. Investigations remain ongoing."

The couple were arrested on Wednesday.

He is originally from the Rathcoole area of Newtownabbey.

He 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.

Mr Campbell played centre forward for a host of clubs including Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town, before joining Bradford City in 1979. When the allegations were first made Mr 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."

He is the leading striker in Bradford City's history, scoring 137 goals, and is highly regarded by the club's fans.

Last year hundreds gathered to pay tribute to Mr Campbell at the launch of a book about his career, They Don't Make Them Like Him Any More.

Police were contacted in early July by an individual at the working men's club, which is in Brian Street, Lindley, to report a potential fraud offence at the premises.

Nobody at Lindley WMC was available for comment yesterday.

PROFILE

Robert 'Bobby' Campbell is a former Northern Irish international footballer who played centre forward. Born in Belfast, Campbell started his career at Aston Villa, making his professional debut in 1974. He subsequently played for a number of high-profile clubs. In December 1979 he joined Bradford City. He made more than 300 appearances for the club, and became the its all-time leading goalscorer. In April 1982 Campbell was selected for the 1982 World Cup, but failed to make an appearance. The team beat hosts Spain 1-0. He retired in 1988.

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