Kean given driving ban despite spiked drink claim

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The Independent Football

The excuse that Steve Kean had his drink spiked fell on deaf ears yesterday as the Blackburn Rovers manager was given an 18-month driving ban and fined £1,800 yesterday after being convicted of drink-driving. Kean had earlier pleaded guilty but applied to escape the ban, but a judge at Macclesfield magistrates' court rejected the "special reasons" application, saying Kean had failed to prove that his drink had been laced.

The 43-year-old, who changed his plea to guilty shortly before the trial began, was almost twice the legal limit when he failed a breath test hours after his side played Manchester United in the Premier League last May. Kean admitted drinking two and a half glasses of red wine with Sir Alex Ferguson after the game and later a bottle of beer at a pub near his Blackburn home. A medical expert said that quantity of alcohol would have been insufficient to cause the breathalyser reading and the defence argued that his drink must have been spiked at the pub.

The court heard that, after leaving the stadium, Kean went home to pack for a drive to his family home in the South-east. Before setting off, he stopped at a local pub to meet a group of friends who had been to the game. He spent around 45 minutes at the pub, which was packed with fans watching the highlights of the FA Cup final.

During that time he said a friend had bought him a bottle of Budweiser, which he drank out of a small glass. Asked how he felt as he left the pub, Kean told the court: "Football is an emotional game and your adrenalin is rushing but I felt fine. I was happy but not intoxicated, not at all. I have done that journey lots of times and wouldn't attempt to do it [drunk]."

A Blackburn Rovers spokesman said they would not comment on the case.