Former Canary trialist in blackmail case

PUBLISHED: 16:29 08 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:30 10 September 2010

Sarah Hall

A former Norwich City triallist has been charged with blackmailing a top Premier League footballer.

A former Norwich City trialist has been charged with blackmailing a top Premier League footballer.

Goalkeeper Ashley Timms, 22, who played two games for the Canaries' reserve team this season, is accused of demanding £15,000 from the unnamed star.

Timms appeared before magistrates in Manchester yesterday.

The charge is that between March and April he made an unwarranted demand for money from the top player with menaces.

Magistrates banned the publication of the name of the Premier League footballer.

Timms was granted bail and the case was sent to Manchester Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on April 18.

His solicitor, David O'Reilly, said he would ask for the order to be lifted at the next hearing so that the famous footballer can be identified.

He confirmed that his client is a non-league footballer who has been at a number of clubs since he was 17.

Timms was one of 122 Premiership players who were ditched by top teams in 2003 when clubs were forced into some serious belt-tightening.

He was told by Manchester City, along with fellow keeper Peter Schmeichel, that he was surplus to requirements.

Since then Manchester-born Timms has played for 17 clubs including his trial Altrincham, Curzon Ashton, Mossley and Atherton L.R. and had trials at Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers, Oldham and Macclesfield.

He had brief spells at Shrewsbury Town, Accrington Stanley and Runcorn and had trials at Carrow Road in December and at Fulham.

For the Canaries second string he kept a clean sheet in a 4-0 victory away at Peterborough, but was told he had no future at Norwich City after Ipswich Town triumphed 5-1 at Carrow Road.

In January he joined Cambridge City in the Blue Square South League on non-contract terms and played 15 matches.

He is now thought to be without a club and is living in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester. He was bailed to appear at Manchester Crown Court on April 18.

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