A goalkeeper in Britain jailed for killing two young boys in a car crash while drink-driving has been offered the chance to restart his career after he is released from prison.
Luke McCormick, 28, will join League Two champions Swindon Town on trial after he is freed from Leyhill Prison next month with a view to winning a permanent contract, the club said.
The former Plymouth Argyle stopper was jailed for seven years and four months in October 2008 for killing Arron Peak, 10, and his brother Ben, eight, in a collision on the M6 in Staffordshire as he returned from a team-mate’s wedding while twice the drink-driving limit.
McCormick has been training on day-release with Swindon, managed by former West Ham star Paolo Di Canio, since January, the club’s interim chairman Jeremy Wray said.
“Our view is that it is very easy to say that it’s too difficult a subject to bother with,” he said.
“We thought long and hard about it, and it has to be made clear that everybody’s thoughts can only go to the family of those two young boys and their father who was badly injured.
“Tragedy is a word used too often, but this was a tragedy and it can never be changed.
“He (McCormick) will live with what has happened every day of his life but he has the chance to give something back, to show the tragedies of drink-driving.”
He added: “As a club we did not go courting this – the opportunity was presented to us after I was contacted by his agent and he will spend pre-season training here at Swindon. We have had to look at it in a reasonable way and look to produce a positive outcome in horrible circumstances.”
McCormick’s contract with Argyle was cancelled by “mutual consent” a month after the crash.
Arron and Ben were travelling to Silverstone racetrack for a dream day out with their father Phil Peak and three friends when their Toyota Previa people carrier was hit by McCormick’s powerful black Range Rover on the M6 at 5.44am on June 7, 2008.
The footballer was returning from former team-mate David Norris’s wedding in Bolton at the time.
He was seen with his footballer friends drinking beer and downing shots of the spirit Sambuca at the wedding reception.
Stoke Crown Court, where McCormick admitted death by dangerous driving and drink driving, was told police investigators estimated his Range Rover was travelling at around 97mph moments before the crash.
Mr Peak, from Partington in Manchester, was at the wheel of the Toyota and suffered serious injuries that left him in a wheelchair.
The boys’ mother, Amanda Peak, told the Sun that Swindon’s decision “was like a kick in the stomach”.
“Swindon might be a family club but now they are hiring a man who has torn my family apart,” she told the newspaper.