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Dec, 30, 2008

Reds vow to back Gerrard

Liverpool will give captain Steven Gerrard "all the support he needs" after the England star was charged with assault and affray on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old international midfielder was charged in relation to an incident at a Southport bar in the early hours of Monday morning that left the venue's DJ requiring hospital treatment.

A club spokesman told the Liverpool Echo: "Steven has been an outstanding servant to Liverpool for the last 10 years and the club will give him all the support he needs at this time."

The Merseyside police confirmed the Reds captain was charged along with two other men who had also been arrested after a "disturbance" that resulted in 34-year-old Marcus McGee suffering facial injuries.

Gerrard, who was released from Southport police station on Tuesday morning, was at the restaurant and bar - which turns into a nightclub - with friends to celebrate Liverpool's 5-1 win over Newcastle United.

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 be appearing at North Sefton Magistrates' Court on January 23."

The spokesman said Gerrard and the two other men had been bailed and three other men who were arrested in connection with the incident were released on police bail pending further inquiries.

After the game on Sunday Gerrard, who scored twice, hailed his table-topping side as the best he has played in.

But several hours later he was apparently caught up in an altercation outside the Lounge Inn in Bold Street.

Police were called and arrested six men on suspicion of assault in nearby Lord Street.

The town centre business remained shut on Monday but evidence of a fight inside could be seen through the windows.

Spots of blood were clearly visible on the floor, along with shards of broken glass.

Gerrard has been capped by England 70 times and has captained his country on four occasions.

He was made an MBE last year and received an honorary fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.

Liverpool's next match is against Preston in the FA Cup on Saturday.

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