Sacked duo find new clubs

Date published: Friday 26th June 2015 12:09

Goalkeeper Smith has joined Northampton, while Hopper has signed for Scunthorpe United. The pair, together with James Pearson – son of first-team manager Nigel Pearson – were all fired after allegedly being filmed engaging in sex acts in a Bangkok hotel room.

It is also alleged that one of the players made a racist comment on the video, which was made on an end-of-season visit to Thailand to celebrate the club’s survival in the Premier League and leaked to a Sunday newspaper while the squad was still abroad.

Only Pearson now is without a new club.

Smith, who has signed a two-year contract at Sixfields, said: “Everybody knows I got myself into a situation which I am deeply ashamed of, and sorry for.

“I am just pleased that the manager at Northampton has kind of given me a second chance, and it is now down to me to do the business on the training ground, and hopefully on match day if he selects me.

“All three of us that took part in what happened are deeply ashamed and sorry.”

Smith admitted he felt his professional career was over and that the shame he felt over the incident made it difficult for him to leave his house.

“I 100 per cent (thought my career was over), 100 per cent,” he said. “I thought I was gone, and I was thinking the worst-case scenario.”

And he added: “I couldn’t leave my house really, because there were people outside trying to take photos, and I felt so ashamed,” he said. “It was horrible, and I wouldn’t put anybody through that. It was a mistake, and I regretted it the next morning.

“Obviously I am going to get asked about it, but the less I hear about it the better, and I can hopefully move on with my career here at Northampton.”

Hopper, 21, scored four goals in 12 appearances during a loan spell with the Iron last season.

In a statement, the League One side said: “The club would like to make it clear that we are fully aware of the recent publicity surrounding the young striker and have put a considerable amount of thought into the decision to sign him.

“However, Tom is a player that we are very much aware of, having signed him on loan last season, and we feel that we know his true character, which was not represented by this regrettable incident.”

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