Sentenced in to nine years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs, the non-league midfielder was nearing his release date after serving half his matcch, having remained in custody since his arrest in July This summer, Benjamin was handed a one-year contract by Southport, a club whose manager Liam Watson is all about giving players a second chance.
After spending 18 years Southport match date at Ashworth high security hospital near Liverpool, which treats some of the UK's most disturbed criminals, Watson has learned how to help people turn their lives. Last season, Watson had former Liverpool academy keeper Michael Kinsella, who has spent time in prison for drug offences, as Southport's goalkeeper coach.
They deserve a second chance. Ashworth is home to some of the most dangerous people in Britain.
Moors murderer Ian Brady spent 32 years there before he died in Police killer Dale Cregan has also spent time. Watson started work at Ashworth in after his career as a forward at Preston was cut short by injury at the age of just A former team-mate of David Moyes at Deepdale, Watson worked in the hospital's Southport match date care unit, rehabilitation ward and high-dependency unit untilwhen Telford offered him the chance to go into full-time Escorts Townsville west after leading Southport to two sixth-tier titles.
By then Ashworth had become an "extremely dangerous place to work", according to Liverpool-born Watson. Despite the daily threat of physical attack from Alice Springs adult modeling, Watson learned valuable life lessons working at Ashworth.
His experience there goes some way to explaining why he is an advocate of giving fresh starts to players others might have given up on. Whether it was drugs or whatever, he had issues. I liked him and he's since gone on to do really well for. He had just joined Stockport County from Telford, then managed by Watson, and had yet to make an appearance for his new club. During his trial, at which Southport match date pleaded guilty, Benjamin was described as the ringleader in a Merseyside drugs gang.
Having known him since he was a year-old at Southport - and brought him back to the club as a year-old after matcg was released by Rochdale - Watson felt compelled to support Benjamin, even though Southpoft midfielder was no longer his player.
Benjamin was moved three times during his sentence. Before Benjamin left Thorn Cross, Watson used his contacts in non-league football to arrange for him to train Southport match date play at nearby Warrington Town on day release from prison.
After leaving prison in January, Benjamin continued to play for the Northern Premier League part-timers before linking back up with Watson this summer Sputhport Southport, where he has been one of the club's most consistent performers. Explaining what drove him to get mixed up in crime, Benjamin says he had been left "playing catch-up" in life by a combination of failing to secure a contract in the Football League and "seeing some lads up to no good driving nice cars".
With the trauma of prison behind him, he is eager to repay Watson for giving him the opportunity to return to Southport match date National League North Southport, for whom he played between All Lucky massage Rockhampton reserved.
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