Ex Newcastle United player admits sending death threats to wife after discovering park and ride affair

Lee Makel sent threatening messages to his wife after finding out about an affair had in the back of his car at a park and ride

A former Newcastle United player has admitted to threatening to kill his wife and her lover after finding out about their affair.

Lee Makel was born in Sunderland and made 14 appearances for Newcastle United between 1991 and 1992 before supposedly falling out with Kevin Keegan and moving to Blackburn Rovers.

The 49-year-old now lives in York and last played for Cowdenbeath in Fife.

Makel has found himself on the wrong side of the law after sending a threatening message to wife Claire when she left him for Gareth Blair - then Edinburgh’s divisional police commander.

The former winger lost his temper and was said to have "a breakdown" when he heard that his 44-year-old wife had been caught engaging in sexual activity in the back of his car at a park and ride.

The ex-Magpies player, who also played for Huddersfield Town and Plymouth Argyle, appeared at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on Monday to admit to threatening and abusive behaviour towards his ex-partner Claire and former Police Scotland chief superintendent Blair.


Lee Makel (right) playing for Dunfermline in 2006 (Image: Getty Images)

Makel admitted to sending a series of threatening messages, including death threats whilst on holiday in Dubai on June 14, 2019.

Upon returning to Scotland a week later, he would send more messages containing explicit threats to kill Claire and Mr Blair.

Lawyer Jennifer Cameron, who defended Makel in court, said the former footballer felt "deceived" by his wife of 10 years - with whom he had two children.

The court heard how Makel had lost his position as a coach at Sheffield United as a result of the incident.

Ms Cameron asked sheriff Peter Paterson to impose an absolute discharge for her client, who wants to return to football coaching - a desire that a criminal conviction would prevent.


Lee Makel (right) playing for Newcastle in 1992 (Image: Getty Images)

Makel had been paying £350 a month in child support, which his lawyer said he would not be able to do if he was to lose his job with a criminal conviction.

The case has been deferred sentencing until September 13 to allow Ms Cameron to look further into the issue.

Former police commander Gareth Blair was fined £750 for public indecency whilst Claire had a plea of not guilty accepted.