Bad-boy Bannan faces up to his crime

Aston Villa footballer Barry Bannan leaves Nottingham Magistrates Court.
Aston Villa footballer Barry Bannan leaves Nottingham Magistrates Court.
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Former Pool loan star Barry Bannan has been talking about his battle to get his life back on track after a drink-drive car smash.

The 22-year-old, who helped Pool win promotion to the Premier League during a spell at Bloomfield Road 18 months ago, looked to be heading for big things a couple of months back.

Bannan , who made 22 appearances for the Seasiders, had broken into Aston Villa’s team and had become a regular in Craig Levein’s Scotland side. Then in October it came to a shuddering halt when he was involved in a car accident while over the drink-drive limit.

Bannan was fined £4,500 and banned from driving for 18 months for the offence.

“It’ll still be with me for the rest of my life in the back of my head,” he said.

“As much as I regret it, I’m so lucky to be still here today. If I hit another car and killed someone else, then there’s no point in me living, really, after the things that would be going through my head.”

Bannan crashed on the M1 near Nottinghamshire before fleeing the scene. He only had a provisional licence.

But in an attempt to underline how much he regrets the incident, he is now the face of West Midlands Police’s Christmas campaign against drinking and driving.

Bannan was suspended by Villa for a week after the crash and has since made only three appearances.