OLDHAM Athletic have terminated the contract of footballer Callum Dolan who has been jailed for eight months after he tried to outrun police in a 98mph road chase after they caught him using a mobile phone at the wheel of his car.
Former Manchester United player Dolan, 18, had just signed for Latics but borrowed a friend’s Renault Clio when he found himself late for training.
Traffic officers spotted the ex-Old Trafford academy player texting at the wheel of the vehicle as he drove along the M60 near Ashton but he sped off in a bid to shake them off.
He tried to exit along a slip road but lost control of the car and ploughed into some railings. He was arrested after a short chase on foot.
When detained Dolan, who was wearing his club tracksuit, said: “I’m f***ed – how long will I get for this?”
Inquiries revealed he was already banned from driving after another police chase when he was caught drunk at the wheel of a car.
At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Dolan who signed for League Two club Latics in August admitted dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.
He attributed his behaviour to a disruptive childhood in which his jailbird father took him on raids when he was only 11.
Sending him to a Young Offender Institution, Judge John Edwards told Dolan: “You are your own worst enemy.
“The ink was barely dry on that professional contract you signed when you attempted to outrun a police BMW. It was crass stupidity and a highly dangerous piece of driving.
“You have the whole world at your feet literally and metaphorically but driving in that way can only mean immediate custody. I just hope the sentence I impose does not jeopardise your future.”
The incident occurred at 11am on August 10 – nine days after Dolan, who left United in 2017, was unveiled as Oldham’s latest signing after a spell at Blackburn Rovers.
The court heard Dolan, from Offerton, Stockport, had been previously banned from driving for 12 months after being caught drink driving following an incident in which he tried to outrun another police patrol.
His lawyer Iain Johnstone said in mitigation: “Oldham Athletic are prepared to stand by him but only if the sentence doesn’t result in custody.
“The club are very impressed with him and he is a young player with huge amount of potential.
“On that day it was his desire not to let the club down which led to him borrowing the car to try and get to training without being late.
“He shows genuine remorse about what has happened and accepts the risk he has caused to other people.
“It was extremely fortuitous that nobody was injured and he recognises this behaviour could have led to serious consequences.”
Mr Johnstone added: “He didn’t have the best upbringing he was abandoned by his mother aged four and that left him the care of his father who was an active criminal who took young Callum on jobs with him from time to time.
“Although he may not have discussed it with detail it’s had a profound effect on him and his father ended up in prison when he was 11.
“He was fostered by his uncle but due to space with property it led to him then going into care and into a children’s home at one point.
“But from an early age what has kept him focused has been football.
“The pre-sentence report presents him as a young man with effectively a lack of developed thinking skills and a lack of maturity.
“He is somebody who has been damaged in his upbringing and the view is that he won’t get any degree of support if he went to prison immediately.
“To take him out of circulation for a relatively short period of tune would have catastrophic repercussions on his aim to become a professional footballer.
“He doesn’t really have very much else in his life and he lives and breathes football.
“He has a wide support network and the support of his football club who obviously have certain responsibilities towards young players.”
Dolan who also admitted charges of having no insurance, driving without a licence and using a mobile phone at the wheel of a car was also banned from driving for two years and four months.