A FOOTBALL club has suspended one of its players following his conviction of drug dealing.

It comes after Jude Nwachukwu, who has played for Wessex League side Brockenhurst since 2015, pleaded guilty to dealing cannabis.

The 25-year-old, who was caught with more than £10,000 of the class B drug, was given a suspended prison sentence at Southampton Crown Court last week.

The club has since suspended Nwachukwu and issued a statement, in which officials expressed their shock at his conviction.

In the statement, a club spokesperson said: “We had no prior knowledge of the charges against Jude and we were shocked and bitterly disappointed to receive the news.

"The club takes its responsibility in the pastoral care of our players very seriously and suspended Jude within 24 hours of his conviction.”

The Echo has contacted Brockenhurst FC to ask if Nwachukwu would be allowed to return to the club, but did not receive a response.

Last week, Nwachukwu appeared at crown court, where he was given a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, by Judge Christopher Parker QC.

The defendant was pulled over by police in Romsey Road, Southampton, on May 12 last year.

Officers reported a “strong smell” of cannabis coming from the car.

On searching the vehicle, police found small bags of the drug, as well as £800 in cash.

Officers later searched Nwachukwu's home in Burlington Road, Southampton, and found more cannabis. The total amount seized had a street value of just over £10,000, the court heard.

Police also found a safe box, containing £8,000 in cash, as well an “extensive” list of drug paraphernalia, such as scales, deal bags and cannabis stems.

Nwachukwu admitted possession of a class B drug with intent to supply it.

A judge told Nwachukwu he had come “within a whisker” of being sent to prison.

As well as his suspended sentence, the defendant was ordered to carry out 280 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity requirement.