Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, 28, was charged on Tuesday with assault "occasioning actual bodily harm and affray" following an alleged fight outside a nightclub. His arrest happened in the early hours of Monday, just hours after he had scored twice in league-leading Liverpool's 5-1 win at Newcastle.
Gerrard was charged along with two other men who had also been arrested following an altercation outside a bar in the coastal town of Southport. The venue's DJ, a 34-year-old local man, required hospital treatment after suffering facial injuries.
In a statement, a Merseyside Police spokesman said: "Merseyside Police has charged Steven Gerrard, 28 years, of Formby, Sefton, John Doran, 29, and Ian Smith, 19 years, both from Huyton, Liverpool, with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray following an incident at Bold Street in Southport in the early hours of Monday, December 29." The three men will appear in court January 23.
Gerrard has played for England 70 times. According to the Daily Mail, the English FA has said that Gerrard's national team place could be under threat if he is found guilty of a "serious criminal offense." His club, however, has pledged him its full support.