Football: Everton forward Wayne Rooney pleads guilty to drink driving, receives 2-year driving ban

Wayne Rooney, Everton striker and former England captain arrives at Stockport Magistrates court, Stockport, Britain, on Sept 18, 2017.
Wayne Rooney, Everton striker and former England captain arrives at Stockport Magistrates court, Stockport, Britain, on Sept 18, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

(GUARDIAN) - Former England football captain Wayne Rooney pleaded guilty to a drink driving charge on Monday (Sept 18) and was banned from driving for two years, and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

"Following today's court hearing, I want publicly to apologise for my unforgivable lack of judgement in driving while over the legal limit. It was completely wrong," he said in an official statement.

"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."

The Everton forward, 31, was charged after being stopped by British police while driving a black Volkswagen Beetle in Wilmslow, Cheshire, at 2am (9am, Singapore time) on Sept 1.

The car belonged to a woman he had met in the Bubble Room bar in Alderley Edge on a night out.

Rooney made no comment when he arrived at the Stockport magistrates' court, a day after playing in Everton's 4-0 defeat against his former club Manchester United.

The record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England appeared amid a large police presence and banks of photographers outside the courthouse.

A conviction for drink driving can attract a sentence of six months' jail, an unlimited fine, or a driving ban for at least one year - or three years if convicted twice in 10 years.

Rooney has scored twice in the league this season for Everton, but is not due to play this weekend after retiring from the national team last month.

In addition to the Champions League, Europa League, five Premier League titles, an FA Cup and three League Cups, Rooney broke Sir Bobby Charlton's scoring records both for United and England.

His combined goal tally for club and country stands at 323 and he is England's most capped outfield player.