West Ham fan kills friend of 14 years with one punch after defeat to Arsenal

Nigel Williams has been sentenced to five years

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The Independent Online

A man has been sentenced to five years in prison for killing his friend with a single punch during an argument about football.

Nigel Williams had a drunken fight with his friend Mark Munday in East London after West Ham lost 5-1 to Arsenal.

The single punch from Williams made Munday's neck twist violently, causing an artery at the base of his skull to tear and resulting in a fatal haemorrhage.

Williams, 39, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Luton Crown Court over the death of Munday, 48, on 3 December.

The two men had been to a football game earlier that Saturday with a group of friends, who had to stop them fighting outside a pub in east London afterwards. 

The group returned to Bedford, but the tension had not been resolved. The Mirror reported that Williams had tried to head butt Munday, a father of three.

A few seconds after Munday went into the Grafton Hotel for a drink, Williams followed him, according to police records.

Williams was heard to say: ““F*** me, f*** me. It's been coming all day", as reported by International Business Times.

He then punched his friend once in the head, with such force, according to eyewitnesses, that he crashed into a table and toppled backwards into a fruit machine.

Munday was taken to hospital where he died.

“This was an utterly heart-breaking incident which saw the death of a much loved husband and father of three at the hands of a man he had called a friend,” said Detective Inspector Alan Page, senior investigating officer.

”What makes this case even more tragic is how preventable it was - just one single moment of madness has forever changed the course of so many lives."



Williams’ defence lawyer, Anthony Rimmer, argued his client and the victim had been friends for more than a decade and went on holiday together.

“The tragedy is that, as far as Mr Williams and Mr Munday are concerned, they had developed a good friendship, building up over 14 years," he said.

Munday’s wife, Sandra, described in a victim impact statement, read out in court, how her husband, who she had been married to for 26 years, was a “loving” father and “devoted to his three sons”.

“Mark was not only my husband, he was my best friend and confidante and the backbone of our family for 28 years,” she said. “He was an amazing dad to our three sons and his legacy lives on in them.”