Former Manchester United captain and England’s top goal scorer Wayne Rooney appeared in court Monday and admitted a charge of drink driving.
The 31-year old, who now plays for his boyhood club Everton FC, appeared in the magistrate’s court at Stockport in Greater Manchester.
The court was told that Rooney’s breathalyser reading was 104mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg. He was given a two-year driving ban and also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work.
Rooney arrived at the courthouse flanked by two bodyguards and his agent to be greeted by a media scrum as photographers tussled to get pictures of the football superstar.
The court heard that Rooney had written a letter to the district judge hearing the case, expressing his remorse and regret at facing the drink-drive charge, describing it as a terrible error of judgement.
In court the judge told Rooney: “I accept your remorse is genuine. I accept the effects this has had in you and your family.”
Rooney was stopped by a police patrol in the early hours of September 1 and was arrested after failing a roadside breath test which indicated he had exceeded the legal alcohol limit.
Rooney’s arrest took a major turn when national newspapers revealed that at the time he was stopped he was driving a car belonging to 29-year old Laura Simpson, who was in the passenger seat alongside Rooney. His pregnant wife Coleen Rooney and their three children were holidaying at the time in Majorca. Rooney’s wife flew back to Manchester in a private jet after hearing about her husband’s arrest.
Media reports said Rooney’s wife was not with him during the court hearing. There is also speculation in the media that Everton FC will impose a fine of two week’s salary, around 270,000 U.S. dollars, on Rooney.
My statement of apology – https://t.co/51WmrVDCev
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) September 18, 2017
In a statement issued after the court hearing Rooney said: “Following today’s court hearing I want publicly to apologise for my unforgivable lack of judgment in driving while over the legal limit. It was completely wrong.
“I have already said sorry to my family, my manager and chairman and everyone at Everton FC. Now I want to apologise to all the fans and everyone else who has followed and supported me throughout my career. Of course I accept the sentence of the court and hope that I can make some amends through my community service.”