Mark Munday (left) was killed with a single punch by his friend of 14 years, Nigel Williams
Mark Munday (left) was killed with a single punch by his friend of 14 years, Nigel Williams Bedfordshire Police

A football fan punched his friend and fellow season ticket holder in a drunken row after a West Ham game. Nigel Williams pleaded guilty to manslaughter after hitting Mark Munday in a violent argument and received a five-year prison sentence.

The impact from the single punch to Munday's head caused his neck to twist so violently that an artery at the base of his skull had torn, resulting in a fatal haemorrhage. The father-of- three died later in Bedford Hospital from a bleed to the brain.

The incident was described as a "one punch homicide case" at the trial at Luton Crown Court on 10 January.

The drunken fight started outside an east London pub after the two men had seen West Ham lose 5-1 to Arsenal. Mutual friends tried to keep them apart as they fought in the street.

The group of friends returned home to Bedford but Williams was still angry. Earlier he had tried to headbutt Munday, according to a Mirror report.

The fatal blow was dealt when Williams followed Munday into a bar where he was drinking and punched him. The blow sent Munday reeling into a table, before toppling backwards into a fruit machine.

Just moments before the attack, Williams was heard to say "F*** me, f*** me. It's been coming all day."

Luton Crown Court was told on Monday (10 April) by prosecutor Tim Probert-Wood that eyewitnesses said the punch was thrown with real brute force.

Anthony Rimmer, defending Williams said his client and Munday had been good friends for several years and had also gone on holiday together.

"The tragedy is that, as far as Mr Williams and Mr Munday are concerned, they had developed a good friendship, building up over 14 years."

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Munday's wife Sandra told how she and her husband had been married for 26 years. She described Mark as a "loving husband, who was devoted to his three sons."

She added: "The loss of Mark has left a gap in the lives of so many people." Nearly 400 people had attended his funeral.

"There is not a minute of every day that goes by when I don't think of Mark and miss him and want him."