Ex-Portsmouth and West Brom player convicted of coughing at police and claiming he had coronavirus

A former Pompey player has been remanded in custody after being convicted of coughing at police officers and claiming he had coronavirus.

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 11:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 11:37 am

James Hurst was arrested in the garden of a woman’s home in Glasgow’s Drumchapel in April, according to a BBC report.

The 28-year-old admitted acting in a threatening or abusive manner towards the officers.

Prosecutor Mark Allan said: ‘He immediately stated: “I've got Covid. I'm going to cough and spit all over you.”

‘At that point, he began to cough in the faces of both officers as they were placing handcuffs on him.

‘As he did this, he shouted: “Have that.”’

England youth international Hurst was reportedly an Arsenal and Manchester United target when he signed for Pompey’s Academy from West Brom in the summer of 2008.

However, the closest he came to the first-team was an unused substitute in a League Cup game against Hereford in August 2009.

Former England youth international James Hurst left Pompey in 2010 after failing to make a first-team appearance. Picture: Mick Young

He also ran into trouble at Fratton Park when he was fined and banned following a Facebook post which wished Pompey defeat against Arsenal in August 2009. The Blues lost 4-1, although Hurst denied posting it on his profile.

Following the right-back’s release in the summer of 2010, he embarked on a nomadic career, featuring for West Brom, Blackpool, Shrewsbury, Chesterfield, Crawley and Northampton in the Football League.

He dropped into non-league in 2014, again racking up a large number of clubs, and recently represented Hednesford before leaving by mutual consent in January 2020.

Sheriff Tony Kelly deferred sentence until the end of the month for background reports.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on portsmouth.co.uk. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to portsmouth.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit our Subscription page now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.