Former Rovers star awaiting sentence for killing

Former Forest Green Rovers player Andrew Taylor must wait until September to be sentenced for killing an off-duty police officer.

The 29-year-old, pictured in action for the Vanarama National League Rovers before going on to play for Burscough and Vauxhall Motors, was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court this week after a five week trial of the manslaughter of PC Neil Doyle before Christmas 2014.

The 36-year-old policeman died after he was struck on December 19 in the city. Taylor was also convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to another off-duty officer, PC Michael Steventon.

Also convicted of the manslaughter of PC Doyle was Timmy Donovan, 30. The pair were also found guilt of wounding a third officer, PC Robert Marshall, with intent. But Christopher Spendlove, a former team-mate of Taylor when the pair played for US soccer league outfit Austin Aztex, was cleared of all charges.

PC Neil Doyle

PC Neil Doyle

Taylor, who works as a £40,000-a-year football consultant at the Wasserman Media Group, and Donovan will be sentenced on Friday, September 11.

PC Doyle died as a result of a bleed on the brain similar to that which ended the life of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes.

Both Taylor and Donovan, who were said to have been drinking heavily on a pre-Christmas night out, were of previous good character. The pair claimed they had acted in self-defence in the belief that they were coming under attack from the officers.

Detective Superintendent Mike Shaw of Merseyside Police said: “Taylor had a promising career ahead of him in the sporting world. But their rash actions, following the consumption of large amounts of alcohol, have ruined what could have been a bright future. All too often we see the consequences of people who strike out at others after having consumed alcohol.”

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