January 7 – Former England captain Wayne Rooney, who has played for D.C. United in the United States since last year, was arrested in mid-December on a minor charge of public intoxication and had to pay a token fine of $25 with $91 in costs, it was revealed over the weekend.
Rooney was charged with a ‘Class 4’ misdemeanour, which carries a maximum fine of $250, but his spokesman quickly explained the reasons saying he was “disorientated” after drinking alcohol on a flight while also taking medication to help him sleep.
The 33-year-old was arrested at an international arrivals gate at Dulles airport in Virginia after returning from a one-day trip to Saudi Arabia on December 16 but released later the same day according to the local Sheriff’s Office.
It was not immediately clear why authorities had delayed releasing details of Rooney’s arrest for more than two weeks. D.C. United said it was aware of the reports.
“We understand the media’s interest in this matter but believe this is a private matter for Wayne that D.C. United will handle internally,” the club said in a statement obtained by the Washington Post.
Rooney, England’s all-time top scorer, joined the Major League Soccer club in mid-2018 in a deal that was reportedly worth more than $12 million and made him the highest paid player in D.C. United’s history.
The former Manchester United star, who earned 119 caps for England – a national record for an outfield player – was the latest addition to a list of former England icons to cross the Atlantic, following moves by David Beckham and Steven Gerrard.
In a statement Rooney’s spokesman explained: “During the flight Wayne took a prescribed amount of sleeping tablets mixed with some alcohol consumption and consequently was disorientated on arrival. He was approached by police who arrested him on a minor misdemeanour charge.
“He received a statutory automatic fine and was released shortly afterwards at the airport. The matter is now at an end. Wayne would like to put on record his appreciation for the manner he was treated by all involved.”
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