DISGRACED former American football star OJ Simpson is set to walk free from prison exactly nine years into his 33-year sentence.

A parole board hearing scheduled for the week beginning July 3 – six days before his 70th birthday – is expected to recommend his release, based on good behaviour.

Experts believe the board will vote to release the fallen sports star at the earliest possible date of October 3.

It would be nine years to the day after he was sentenced to 33 years for a string of charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping.

In 1995, Simpson was sensationally cleared of the brutal stabbing murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman in the so-called “Trial of the Century”.

Yesterday, an ex-business partner who visits him regularly at medium-security Lovelock Correctional Centre in Nevada declared: “He’s convinced he’ll be coming out this fall and is counting down the days to his hearing like a kid waiting for Christmas.”

Former American Football hero and NFL Hall of Fame star Simpson – prisoner number 1027820 – has suffered a string of medical setbacks at the remote desert jail, including diabetes and a severe bone infection.

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