City hero held after girlfriend stabbed

Canaries legend Peter Mendham was today under arrest on suspicion of attempted murder after his girlfriend was stabbed at his home.Police and paramedics were called to his home at Whitlingham Lane in Trowse at 8.

Canaries legend Peter Mendham was today under arrest on suspicion of attempted murder after his girlfriend was stabbed at his home.

Police and paramedics were called to his home at Whitlingham Lane in Trowse at 8.15pm yesterday.

The woman was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where she needed emergency surgery. Police said she was in a serious but stable condition this morning.

Mr Mendham was today being held at Bethel Street Police Station.

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The ex-midfielder, who played for Norwich City from 1978 until 1987, was in court in July for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The court heard how Mr Mendham had been spotted by police following his partner Charlotte Hyam on Earlham Road in May and had then attempted to drive a car while over the limit.

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It is believed that Mrs Hyam, who is thought to be from the Barnham Broom area, is the woman who was stabbed in the back at his home last night.

However, police and ambulance crews would not confirm the identity of the woman.

Mr Mendham's home was today cordoned off and two policemen were standing guard outside.

Mr Mendham had been renting the cottage for about 18 months from his next door neighbour, Carolyn Crosse, 69.

She said: “We didn't hear anything at all. The first we knew something had happened was when the police arrived and after that we just stayed in our house because there were about five police cars and ambulances outside.

“We could see the blue lights and the police cars from our window.

“We had no idea what had happened but we could tell it was something serious.

“He was a nice guy and a really good tenant.

“It's a shock to us and we are really upset for him.

“We did not see him that much but when we did he was always nice and chatty and friendly and he was highly thought of in his work.”

Peter Crane who has run the village store for 40 years said: “I saw him train around here so I know him really well. I can't believe it. He's been a customer of mine for years.”

One neighbour said: “It's appalling I think the village will be shocked.”

Another neighbour said: “I was sitting in my home last night I saw the ambulance and the police I didn't know what had happened at all. There were ambulances and police cars all night. I had no idea it was a stabbing, I knew it was something serious because of all the commotion. I'm really surprised. I'd never seen his girlfriend, I don't know her at all.

One neighbour said: “I heard some doors banging last night and I thought what's that. Then a few seconds later two police officers came to my house. All night long it was just unmarked cars, vans and marked cars going up and down the lane and there has been a police presence all night.

I saw very little of them but this is extremely shocking for us.”

Friends and former colleagues today reacted with shock at the news.

Former Norwich boss Ken Brown, who guided City to Milk Cup glory at Wembley in 1985, said: “I can't believe that - I was only speaking to him at the beginning of the week, I just called him on the phone.

“I realised I saw him on a bike as he is banned from driving and offered to take him wherever he was going. I can't honestly believe that.”

Former Norwich City winger Dale Gordon and ex-City number one Bryan Gunn refused to comment, as did former City striker Kevin Drinkell.

Roy Blower, chairman of the Norwich City Independent Supporters Association (NCISA) said: “I'm deeply shocked and can't really think of anything more to say. I only saw him a few weeks ago, I'm deeply shocked - this is just unbelievable.”

Kings Lynn-born Mr Mendham, who has two sons from a previous marriage, is highly regarded for his work both on and off the pitch. After retiring from football he put all his energy into working as a fundraiser for East Anglian Air Ambulance Trust.

He was lucky to keep his job as their fundraiser after his drink driver conviction, as he was given a year-long driving ban by the courts.

He is also still committed to football and runs training schools for youngtsters.

A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating an incident where a woman received serious wounds after being stabbed at a property in Trowse just outside Norwich last night (October 18).

“The incident happened just before 8.20pm. Police and ambulance services attended the scene.

“The woman, who is in her late 30s, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where she required surgical treatment for her injuries. Her condition is now described as serious but stable.

“A 46-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. He is currently being detained at Bethel Street Police Station in Norwich for questioning.

“At this stage police are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”

t Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police on 0845 4564567.

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