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USL PRO coach charged with murder of police officer in Liverpool

Oklahoma City Energy FC

Oklahoma City Energy FC’s club crest.

Following the tragic death of police officer Neil Doyle in Liverpool last Friday, a professional soccer coach in the U.S. has been charged with murder and assault.

On Monday Christopher Spendlove was fired as the assistant coach of Oklahoma City Energy, which plays in the USL PRO, and the 30-year-old has appeared in an English court on Tuesday in his home city of Liverpool.

Spendlove and 28-year-old Andrew Taylor are accused of murdering off-duty officer Doyle in the city center of Liverpool, as it is alleged he was attacked in the early hours of Friday morning and a post-mortem examination found that Doyle died from a fatal bleed around the brain.

In a statement Oklahoma Energy FC said that Spendlove was dismissed “given the seriousness of the charges” as the former student at Oklahoma City University will await trial in the early summer and a preliminary hearing will be held on January 6, 2015 into the murder charges and also charges of unlawfully and maliciously wounding Michael Stephenson and Robert Marshall during the same incident.

Here’s is the statement from the Energy’s GM, Jason Hawkins, in full.

“We are stunned by the news today of murder charges being filed against OKC Energy FC assistant coach Chris Spendlove in England stemming from an altercation involving several individuals on Friday, December 19. The incident resulted in the death of an off-duty law enforcement officer. Details of the incident will be forthcoming as the matter winds its way through England’s legal system including the extent in which Chris was involved. Given the seriousness of the charges, we have made the decision to dismiss Chris from the organization. That said, we are deeply saddened by the news of the incident and our hearts go out to the family of the police officer who lost his life. We are also disheartened for Chris. As an assistant coach, he was always professional and conducted himself in a proper and respectful manner. Our thoughts are also with him and his family during this difficult time.”

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