Police have launched an inquiry over claims that Premiership footballer Lee Hendrie yelled abuse at a disabled fan during a match, it was revealed on Tuesday.
The Aston Villa midfielder is alleged to have made insulting comments to a wheelchair-bound fan during the team's clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on January 13.
The former England star, who did not play in the match, was a substitute and was warming up on the touchline close to the disabled fans' area.
It is claimed the 29-year-old became involved in a slanging match with United fans in the area before making abusive comments and gestures towards a fan, named in reports as Andy Wild, of Sale, Greater Manchester.
A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said a formal complaint was made following the game and an investigation was launched.
She said: 'Police are continuing to investigate reports of abusive comments and gestures at the Manchester United versus Aston Villa match at Old Trafford on Saturday, January 13.
'The reports were made shortly before 7.10pm that night and investigations into the incident are ongoing.'
She refused to comment on the specific nature of the alleged comments.
Hendrie has not been interviewed by police, who described the inquiry as at an 'information-gathering' stage.
It was not clear whether Mr Wild had been formally interviewed by police.
After the alleged bust-up, Hendrie returned to the Villa dugout where he stayed for the remainder of the game, which United won 3-1.
A spokesman for Aston Villa Football Club said: 'We have spoken to Lee about the allegations and he vehemently denies them.'