The English football international and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been charged with assault in connection with an alleged assault at a nightspot that led to a man being hospitalised.
Gerrard, who's 28, was one of six men arrested in the early hours of December 29th outside a restaurant in Southport after officers were called to a disturbance. A 34-year-old man was taken to hospital with facial injuries.
Two men have been charged alongside Gerrard with the same offences and they will appear before North Sefton magistrates in late January, accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray.
Three other men have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.
Liverpool have vowed to give their captain their full support.
According to The Sun daily, Gerrard has been assured that his England career under coach Fabio Capello is safe despite his arrest, while the Daily Telegraph said he is unlikely to face a Football Association or club charge.
Gerrard was celebrating Liverpool extending its lead to three points at the top of the Premier League standings after he scored twice and made another goal in a man-of-the-match performance in Liverpool's 5-1 Premier League victory at Newcastle United.
Second-place Chelsea were held 2-2 by Fulham.
Liverpool lead the standings with 45 points, Chelsea has 42 followed by United, Villa and Arsenal, all on 35 points, although United currently have three games in hand on the leaders.