Livingston lose captain Declan Gallagher as defender returns to prison



Livingston manager David Hopkin has been left with one less player after defender Declan Gallagher returned to jail.

Gallagher and co-accused Anthony Murray have had their appeal against a three-year sentence for serious assault rejected by three judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

Gallagher, who has recently captained the Lions, and Murray were convicted last June of a ‘brutal’ assault on Steven Findlay in April 2013.

(Pic: twitter: @Declan_Gal)
Gallagher had recently worn the Lions armband (Pic: twitter: @Declan_Gal)

Former Dundee player Gallagher was granted bail, pending his appeal against the conviction and sentence, and the centre-half became a mainstay in the Livingston team this season, making 30 appearances.

After re-signing 24-year-old, then Livingston manager Mark Burchill said he was keeping a promise made to Gallagher.

Speaking at the time, Burchill said: “At the end of the season, I made a statement that I would stand by Declan and that’s what I’ve done.

“He’s obviously been convicted but he’s been allowed out on bail for a reason and he deserves a chance to earn a living.”

Livingston will now have to try and secure their Championship status without Gallagher.

Hopkin signed a new defender before Monday’s transfer window closed after recruiting Josh Mullin from Albion Rovers for an undisclosed fee.

Police Scotland, meanwhile, are appealing for information after Livingston midfielder Darren Cole was allegedly subjected to racist abuse by a small number of Lions ‘fans’ during last Saturday’s defeat at Dumbarton.

The club have already urged their own supporters to try and help identify the ‘culprits’.

A police statement read: “Police are appealing for information following reports of antisocial behaviour, violence and racial abuse by a small number of spectators during the Dumbarton FC V Livingston FC football match at Dumbarton Football Stadium on Saturday 30 January 2016.

“Police Scotland is liaising with both football clubs to establish the circumstances and would encourage anyone who witnessed these incidents or who has any information that will assist officers with their enquiries to contact Dumbarton Police Office via 101 or in confidence to CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111.”