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A former England international footballer has taken aim at an English golf club after it denied his application to join.

Former Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United midfielder Carlton Palmer believes he has been unfairly treated by Abbeydale Golf Club over an incident that happened during his playing days.

Palmer, who made 18 appearances for England, was fined for indecent assault over an incident that happened in the 1990s during a night out with his Leeds teammates.

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It is understood that, upon learning of the 56-year-old’s intention to join Sheffield-based Abbeydale, another member presented old newspaper clippings documenting his past indiscretions, at which point his application was refused.

According to Palmer, there are other members of the club with criminal convictions, which would suggest that he has been unfairly singled out.

“It’s not about me anymore,” he told The Star. “This is an archaic rule that allows people to blackball you. I’ve been told other people have had the same problems.

“Nobody in this day and age should be rejected from a golf club out of hand. If there’s a waiting list, you wait. I was happy to do that and I’ve always been courteous. As long as you’re courteous and you follow the rules of that club, there’s no reason you should be denied.

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“And if they’ve got an issue with something, you have to have the right of reply.”

He added: “This isn’t about me being entitled. I was prepared to wait if there was any waiting list, but they’ve just denied my application out of hand without a right of reply.”

Carlton Palmer

In a statement sent to The Star, a spokesperson for Abbeydale Golf Club said: “We received an application for membership of AGC, which is a private members’ club, from Carlton Palmer.

“AGC followed a normal process regarding the membership application which was rejected at a board meeting on 1 March 2022. In the normal way, we informed his proposer of the outcome. 

“Carlton Palmer has been treated as we would any other applicant in similar circumstances. 

 “We wrote to Carlton Palmer telling him of the reasons for the rejection. The reasons included reference to information that is freely available in the media regarding his previous conduct. We will not disclose a copy of that letter. That is a matter for Carlton Palmer

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