Football nutritionist forged qualifications

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The Independent Online
A WOMAN who advised top footballers on their diets yesterday admitted forging her qualifications. Sue Ready, 28, was British football's first full-time nutritionist at Newcastle United in 1996 and had access to players such as the England captain, Alan Shearer.

She wept as she pleaded guilty at Newcastle magistrates' court to charges of obtaining services by deception at a health centre and gaining a pecuniary advantage from a surgery.

Ready, who also pleaded guilty to eight charges of obtaining cash by deception, will be sentenced on 15 October.

The court heard how Ready, from Newcastle,worked as a nutritionist at the Natural Health Centre in Littlehampton, West Sussex, in 1994 and at Westcourt Surgery in Rustington, West Sussex, in 1995.

She claimed falsely to have a first class honours degree from the University of Sussex, and other certificates.

Ready was taken on by Newcastle United and worked there until early 1997. She also set up a business based at a hotel in the city.

Roger Liddle, for the prosecution, said staff at SmithKline Beecham, who Ready had contacted over a sponsorship deal, claimed that parts of her curriculum vitae were false. "The defendant contacted police after newspaper reports surfaced about the false qualifications. After giving a confession to police she was arrested."

Keith Laidlaw, for the defence, said Ready, who suffers from Crohn's Disease and multiple sclerosis, started to study English and media at Sussex University but became ill and could not complete the course.

She then became interested in nutrition. "From there the health centre in Littlehampton took an interest in her," he added. "Once she was on this roller-coaster ride it almost took a life of its own."