THREE former Bury players are among seven footballers arrested in connection with a spot-fixing investigation.

Former Shakers captain Stephen Dawson, who now plays for Barnsley, David Buchanan, who made 188 appearances for Bury and now plays for Preston North End and John Welsh, who made five appearances in a loan spell at the club in 2009 are among those under investigation.

The other players under investigation, who all play for Preston North End, are Keith Keane, Ben Davies, Bailey Wright and Graham Cummins.

All seven were arrested on Thursday and bailed.

Dawson, a midfielder, played for Bury between 2008-2010, and won the club’s player of the year award for two successive seasons.

Buchanan, a defender, played for the club from 2004-2010, and won the Bury Times Player of the Season award in 2010.

Spot-fixing involves a player corruptly influencing an element of a football match, such as deliberately receiving a yellow card, without influencing the final result.

A spokesman for Preston North End said: “We are disappointed that individual player names are in the public domain given that none of these individuals have been charged with any offence.

“Having had time to meet with all the individuals concerned we reiterate our position that all players will remain available for selection by the manager and that until or unless the current situation changes it will be business as usual.”

A spokesman for Barnsley said: “Barnsley Football Club is aware of reports in the media in connection with an investigation into individuals suspected of conspiracy to commit acts of bribery and money laundering relating to conduct during football matches.

“At this time the Club has no further comment to make.”

The National Crime Agency said six other men who had previously been arrested in December on suspicion of spot-fixing who were later bailed, including Blackburn Rovers striker DJ Campbell, had been re-arrested and bailed until Tuesday.