Kevin Spaine: boy from Accrington Stanley ‘Who are they?’ advert given a life sentence for murder

Spaine was found guilty of murder at Liverpool Crown Court and given a life sentence with a minimum of 18 years in prison

A man most commonly recognised by Britons as the "who are they?" boy from the “Accrington Stanley” milk commercials in the 1980s has been given a prison term.

Kevin Spaine, 43, was convicted of killing another man in a "drug den" after repeatedly punching and kicking him in Liverpool's Anfield area last year.

On Tuesday 21 February, Spaine was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court and given a life sentence with a minimum of 18 years in prison. The former child actors' life had turned to crime and drug use, the court claimed.

Here is everything you need to know about him.

Who is Kevin Spaine?

Spaine co-starred with Carl Rice of Coronation Street in the enduring Accrington Stanley milk commercial from the 1980s. When the young boy asks Rice if he has any lemonade, Rice responds, "If you want." Rice then pours himself a glass of milk, to which Spaine replies, "Milk? Eurgh.”

Rice explains: “It’s what [the former Liverpool forward] Ian Rush drinks. He said if I don’t drink lots of milk, when I grow up I’m only going to be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.” Then Spaine utters the now-iconic phrase, "Accrington Stanley, who are they?" to which Rice responds, “exactly”.

Speaking on the defendant’s behalf, John Harrison KC claimed that Spaine was once a bright football prospect before his life took a dark turn. He told the court: “This defendant’s life has been ruined and dominated by the abuse of illegal drugs. He has a very long history of criminal offending.”

“We know he’s been in this situation for 20 years or more, but he wasn’t always like that. Mr Spaine was a very promising young footballer, and he appeared in a very famous advertisement on the television – an advert for milk involving Accrington Stanley.”

What did he do?

Leroy Venner was found with head injuries on Wednesday 27 July, at a residence on Liverpool’s Belmont Drive. He was attended to by emergency personnel and taken to the hospital, where he tragically lost his life.

Venner is thought to have been on the run after being charged with robbery offences - Merseyside Police issued a wanted appeal for him in January 2022 after he missed a court date.

Spaine was charged with the murder by detectives investigating the crime in August 2022. Police said Spaine repeatedly struck Venner before fleeing the scene without alerting anyone to the grave injuries he had inflicted.

A post-mortem examination found that Venner had sustained a brain injury as a result of "multiple forceful blows.” After a trial, Spaine, who admitted manslaughter but denied murder, was found guilty.

Detective Chief Inspector Judith Blease, from Merseyside Police, said: “Spaine compounded the suffering of Learoy’s family by denying murder, and altering his story to try and avoid responsibility. Spaine will now be serving a significant jail term, due to an extensive investigation which overcame every obstacle Spaine tried to place in the way of our detectives.”