Liverpool skipper Gerrard arrested after pub brawl

Just hours after scoring two goals in his team's 5-1 rout of Newcastle United, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was arrested in Southport, Merseyside for taking part in a pub brawl.


AFP - Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was arrested early Monday after a fight in a bar on Merseyside, reports and a police source said.

The fight took place overnight in Southport, near Liverpool in north-west England, hours after English Premier League leaders Liverpool won 5-1 away to Newcastle on Sunday, with Gerrard scoring two goals.

"Six men were arrested on suspicion of section 20 assault on Lord Street," said a spokesman for Merseyside Police, without officially confirming England midfielder Gerrard's identity.

A 34-year-old local man was taken to hospital with injuries to his face, not believed to be life threatening, after the incident around 2:30 am (0230 GMT) he added.

The six men, who remained in custody, included a 28-year-old man from Formby, north of Liverpool, as well as other men aged 33, 31, 29, 19 and 18. Gerrard is 28.

Gerrard was arrested after a disturbance at the Lounge Inn, a restaurant close to the junction of Bold Street and Stanley Street.

The Lounge Inn also doubles-up as a DJ and live music venue. Southport, a prosperous seaside town, is known as somewhere where footballers from nearby Premier League clubs such as Liverpool go to socialise.

No one from the restaurant was available to comment on Monday.

A spokesman for Liverpool Football Club declined to confirm or deny that Gerrard was involved.

Gerrard, who has played 70 times for England since making his international debut in 2000, is not renowned for off-field indiscretions.

However, in 2001, he was spotted out drinking 11 hours before he was due to meet up with the rest of the England squad and had to apologise to then national manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Liverpool's victory at Newcastle combined with second-placed Chelsea's draw against Fulham on Sunday ensured the Merseyside club finished 2008 with a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Gerrard, speaking after the Newcastle match, said: "This is the best team I have played with.

"If we want to stay at the top and be involved in this title race we have got to deal with the pressure. But if we keep playing like this we will be there," he added.

Liverpool won the last of their record 18 English titles in 1990 and the availability of Gerrard, long regarded as the club's best player, is widely considered essential if the 'Reds' are to win the Premier League this season.

In April, Gerrard's father revealed how a Merseyside 'underworld' figure had threatened to shoot his son in the legs and extort money from the footballer.

Born in the Liverpool suburb of Huyton, Gerrard has only ever played professional club football for Liverpool, for whom he made his debut in 1998.

Three years ago he inspired the team to come from 3-0 down at half-time to beat Italian side AC Milan in the Champions League final in Istanbul, as Liverpool won European club football's most prestigious trophy.

Last year Gerrard signed a contract keeping him at Anfield until 2011 and this October saw him score his 100th goal for Liverpool.

Gerrard is married to the model and fashion columnist Alex Curran and the couple have two daughters.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning