Today Adam Hammill finally found out what his punishment was after pleading guilty to assaulting two female paramedics, whilst being drunk in Liverpool last month. A 12 week suspended sentence, fine and 150 hours community service all seem fair enough for a first offence, but some Huddersfield Town fans are demanding he should be sent back to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Of course this opinion can be widely understood, Huddersfield Town pride themselves upon their “family club” image, whilst having strong ties with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the “keep it up” campaign. Added to that the strong unity the British public has for the emergency services, especially female ones, you would understand if the club chose to wash their hands of Hammill.
However, they haven’t, instead choosing to severely fine Hammill and help rehabilitate him. In a club statement Chief Executive said “In our view, we need to do what we can to give him the help he needs, rather than pass a problem onto somebody else or leave these issues unaddressed. That is the responsible thing to do for our Club.”
Of course the outside footballing world and some of our own fans may see this as unacceptable, but as Clibbens added “We feel strongly as a responsible club we should always try ‘do the right thing’, even if it might not be the easiest or most popular decision.” The right thing in this case is to help Hammill with whatever issues he may has with alcohol or if he has anger issues.
Before anyone can pass judgement on whether or not Hammill should remain with Huddersfield Town for the remainder of his loan they must know the full story. Hammill didn’t attack two paramedics in a drunken rage like all the shocking headlines seem to point to; in fact he thought he was still being attacked by the people who had knocked him unconscious earlier and in his disorientated way, lashed out at the paramedics. I am not trying to defend Hammill and his actions which are clearly wrong, but he’s not the thug he is being made out to be.
For those reasons I believe the club’s decision not to terminate his loan are the right one. Hammill’s crime is not as serious as other footballers, who have had brushes with the law like Lee Hughes, Joey Barton or Marlon King. Hammill’s was a drunken error and now he has been sentenced he and the club can move on.
I would like to know from fans who do not want Hammill at the club anymore what there limits are for players with a criminal history. Would these fans accept a player who was caught drink driving even though they caused no harm when caught, even though they possibly could have caused an accident? Personally, I think the way the club has dealt with this situation is the right one, weighing up the crime, the person involved and the implications.
As a fan, it will be harder to get behind a player with a conviction to his name, but it is naïve to demand his loan be terminated. As Chairman Dean Hoyle said on Radio Leeds, this incident is totally out of character and Hammill has apologised to both paramedics showing remorse and taking responsibility for his actions.
Ultimately he is a man who is paid to play football. Today’s conviction shouldn’t stop him from doing his job effectively. He is a young man who made a mistake and been rightfully punished and with that punishment has paid for his actions, sending him back to Wolves would only cause more problems and punish us as a club as we lose what I believe to be a key player.
Hammill now finds himself indebted to the club, we have chosen to stick by him through this and now he owes us with performances on the pitch. There is no doubt that he is a talented player and I can’t help but feel that if we were to look to bring Hammill here on a permanent deal, that due to our handling of the situation he would chose Town over other clubs and possibly at a lower wage.
Last chance saloon, on thin ice or whatever cliché you feel appropriate to use in this situation that is where Adam Hammill currently finds himself. As soon as he puts on the blue and white stripes I shall back him, but he has to regain our trust. Let’s hope that now he knows his fate, his performances can return to the level that he showed when he first arrived at the terriers.