FORMER Hyde secretary Anthony Beard has been jailed for three years after stealing almost £50,000 from three sporting organisations including the Tigers and local cricket club Flowery Field.
The 59-year-old served as treasurer of the cricket club as well as secretary for Conference North Hyde and Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court heard how he had fleeced the football club out of £11,775.
He also stole £7,286 from the cricket club as he fell into debt following the collapse of his job as a self-employed financial advisor.
Beard also took £28,078 from the accounts of the Ashton Trust, a sports trust based in Tameside, who he served as a trustee, which later became insolvent. The offences took place between January 2007 and January 2012 with Beard writing cheques to himself.
A Hyde statement read: “Hyde Football Club are pleased with the sentence handed to former secretary, Anthony Beard, this morning (Monday) at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester.
“The impact of Mr Beard’s dealings has been felt by Hyde Football Club both financially and operationally. Mr Beard had full knowledge of the difficult financial situation at the club yet still chose to steal funds.
“This is particularly distressing to many directors and ex-directors who trusted him and who put in their own monies over time, together with supporters’ contributions, in order to keep the club afloat.”
Beard’s barrister Gareth Roberts added: “His life has been turned upside down. The matter was clearly aggravated by a massive breach of trust and the amounts involved.
“He became involved in all three organisations due to interest in the community. He worked tirelessly, and all three benefited at some point from his expertise. He began to take money from the trust and the cricket club. Initially, he did so with the intention to pay the money back.
“As he became more indebted the criminality continued. He became involved in a spiral.”