A promising footballer fell into addiction and drug dealing after a serious injury scuppered a potential professional career, a court heard.

Ryan Donnelly became depressed and developed a drug problem after nearly losing a leg and the death of his mother.

He began selling heroin and cocaine to feed his cocaine and cannabis habit, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Police found 40 wraps of drugs hidden in an electricity cupboard during a morning raid on the home Donnelly, 33, shared with his partner and their three children on February 17.

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John Richards, prosecuting, said Donnelly was a ‘low level, intermittent’ dealer who occasionally sold drugs to fund a long-term habit.

Mr Richards said police discovered 21 wraps of cocaine and 19 wraps of heroin, with a street value of £400-£800 at his house.

Cash totalling £135.48 was also seized.

Mr Richards said Donnelly was sleeping in bed with his young daughter when police came to arrest him.

As they led him away the child became ‘very distressed’ and shouted ‘Don't take my dad away’.

Barry Grennan, defending, said Donnelly was ‘probably going to make it as a division two or division three footballer’ before his leg was ‘almost amputated’.

After his mother died Donnelly began taking cocaine to ‘alleviate significant depression’, Mr Grennan said.

Donnelly’s children were not at risk of finding the drugs as he was ‘very, very careful’ to hide it from them, the barrister added.

Mr Grennan said: “The children have never been apart from him.

“If he goes to custody it would have an impact on them and him. He knows he is blame. He is remorseful.”

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Recorder Michael Maher said Donnelly had exacerbated his crimes by putting his children ‘at risk’.

He added: “Your daughter begged officers not to take you away.

“I hope that was the wake up call as to the suffering your addiction caused to the people who love you dearly.

“Drug dealing destroys lives and destroys communities. If you do not know that now, your children certainly do.

“I recognise that you are someone whose life has been blighted by drugs. I am going to give you a chance. Do not squander that chance.”

Donnelly, of Old Mill Street, Ancoats, was given a 22 month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after admitting two counts of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.

He was also ordered to do 20 rehabilitation activity days and complete a six month drug rehabilitation course.