THE daughter of a legendary Colchester United footballer has told of her shame after spending time in one of Britain’s most infamous women’s prisons.

Gabrielle Bicknell, whose dad Roy Bicknell played for the U’s in the 1950s, was sentenced to 11 days in London’s Holloway prison after breaking a conditional discharge for assaulting two police officers.

The 55-year-old has described her regret at tarnishing her family’s famous sporting pedigree. Her grandfather, Ernie Bicknell, was a boxer, who once fought for the British featherweight title.

Her dad’s cousin, Charlie Bicknell, played football for Chesterfield and Bradford City, and was a wartime Football League Cup winner with West Ham United, who beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 in the 1940 Wembley final.

Miss Bicknell, of Durham Square, Colchester, said her experience in prison had changed her forever.

She said: “I was put in a dormitory with two young women. I think they thought I was a posh madam because I spoke fluent French, and I wore pearls and silk dresses. However, the staff were very professional.

“I think people thought I wouldn’t cope, but I did cope, although it wasn’t easy. I just want everything out in the open because word is getting around, as it does. What happened, happened. I’m certainly not proud of it, but there is nothing I can do about it now.

“People judge you, particularly because of who my father was. But I will hold my hand up and take responsibility for my actions. People make mistakes and do things wrong and that is the way life is. I do feel I’ve let my family down, but what is done is done.”

Mr Bicknell started playing professional football for the Wolves in 1943 aged 17. His teammates included, future England captain Billy Wright, the first footballer to win 100 international caps.

Mr Bicknell, who also played for Bristol City and Charlton Athletic, managed Clacton Town after retiring. He died of Alzheimer’s disease in 2005.