Promising footballer left man with life-changing injuries

Ryan Wilson attacked James Hammond in a row over a taxi outside a pub in Rutherglen in 2019.

Promising footballer left man with life-changing injuries Getty Images

A once-promising Scots footballer tipped for stardom in a TV show fronted by Wayne Rooney left a man with life-changing injuries.

Ryan Wilson, 32, attacked James Hammond after a minor row over a taxi outside a pub in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, on December 8 2019.

The victim suffered a bleed to the brain, a fractured skull and is now only able to say one or two words.

Mr Hammond was not fit to give evidence as Wilson went on trial at the High Court in Glasgow accused of attempting to murder the 51-year-old.

Wilson eventually pled guilty to the reduced charge of assaulting Mr Hammond to his severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life.

He previously had hopes of a football career after his appearance on Sky’s Wayne Rooney Coke Zero Street Striker in 2010.

He received praise from the then-Manchester United star for his “technique and touch” with Wilson speaking of his “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

Wilson had also once been on the books of Falkirk and Motherwell as well as playing for Scotland in the Homeless World Cup in 2010.

But he is now behind bars and faces a lengthy jail term when he is sentenced next month.

Mr Hammond briefly went into The Braes pub in Rutherglen and left his taxi waiting outside.

Wilson then jumped into the cab sparking an argument when the victim returned.

Prosecutor Shanti Maguire said: “Wilson pushed Mr Hammond and punched him once on the head causing him to stagger and fall.

“A witness claimed that in her opinion he had lost consciousness before striking the ground.”

The stricken victim was described as “lying starfish” with blood coming out of his ears before he was rushed to hospital.

The court heard he could have died had his injuries not been treated.

Describing the effect of what happened, Ms Maguire added: “He has suffered weakness to the right side of his body resulting in severe reduced mobility.

“His brain injury is categorised as very severe and has impairment across a range of functions such as language and memory.

“Amnesia arising from his injury will prevent him from ever having any recall of events in the hours leading up to, during and following the assault.”

The advocate depute added his speech is very limited but he is now able to walk, wash and dress himself.

The court also heard Jordan Wilson – no relation – attacked the victim’s nephew Jamie Hammond after he went to the aid of his uncle.

The 27-year-old was struck on the head with a glass.

Jordan Wilson, 26, did go to trial and he was convicted of assaulting the man to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

He was also remanded along with Ryan Wilson as Judge Sean Murphy QC adjourned sentencing for reports until next month.

Ryan Wilson was previously jailed in 2016 for four years at Cambridge Crown Court for a similar crime after a man was attacked outside a bar in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

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