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KFC and Tesco machete robberies: Ex-rugby star Malcolm Alker jailed

Malcolm Alker playing for Salford Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Alker played more than 350 times for Salford City Reds

A former rugby international who robbed a KFC restaurant and a Tesco Express store while armed with a machete has been jailed for four years.

Malcolm Alker, who played for Salford City Reds, pleaded guilty at Bolton Crown Court to two counts of armed robbery and carrying a bladed weapon.

The former hooker played more than 350 games for the rugby league side between 1997 and 2010 and won two England caps.

Alker, of Rathern Avenue, Higher Ince in Wigan, was also a coach at the club.

The Crown Prosecution Service said Alker, 39, and his co-defendant Michael Naylor had robbed the two businesses on 31 October 2017.

'Hands up'

The pair, who were wearing balaclavas, raided the fast food restaurant in Pemberton first, before moving onto the shop in Whelley, a spokesman said.

She said a bundle of £20 notes they took from the Tesco Express contained a GPS tracker, which police tracked to Delegarte Street in Ince.

Officers found Naylor "hiding behind a car" with the notes and tracker in his pocket and Alker "then came out of the bushes with his hands up".

Naylor, 25, of West Street, Higher Ince, admitted the same offences as Alker and received the same sentence.

Alker retired due to injury in 2010 and his 16-year association with Salford ended the following year.

He captained the club for almost a decade, but courted controversy a number of times and was stripped of the role in 2009 following a breach of club rules during a January training camp in America.

He returned as captain two months later, but eventually left the club following a dispute over a training ground incident in April 2011.

He later admitted in his autobiography to taking cocaine and banned growth hormones during his playing days.

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