Man was involved in ’large scale fight’ on Christmas Eve

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A promising footballer who missed out on representing Northern Ireland in the ‘Homeless World Cup’ last summer because of continued court appearances has been back in front of a judge for being disorderly on Christmas Eve.

Police were called to a “large fight” in Ballymena town centre on December 24 and David Given Surgenor (22), whose address was given as the Lighthouse hostel at Linenhall Street, Ballymena, was disorderly.

Last summer he had been on the verge of representing Northern Ireland in the ‘Homeless World Cup’ which uses football to inspire homeless people to change their lives.

However, Surgenor, who has over 120 convictions, failed to make the team which came 13th out of 44 in Glasgow, because of his drinking and re-offending.

He appeared at Antrim Magistrates Court and admitted a charge of being disorderly at Thomas Street, Ballymena, on December 24.

A prosecutor said police were called to a “large fight” and Surgenor was shouting “Up the UDA”.

Officers told Surgenor to leave the area and warned he would be arrested if he returned. He came back and told police to “f--k off”.

He was given three months in jail, suspended for 18 months.

At a previous court, a defence barrister said Surgenor was so good at football “he could have been very well remunerated across the water with a recognised team”.