Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard can relate to what Manchester United star Wayne Rooney is going through. For six months from December 2008 he lived under the threat of a jail sentence after being charged with affray following a fight in a Southport bar.
Finally, in July 2009, Gerrard emerged from his own nightmare after he was cleared at Liverpool Crown Court.
Yesterday, he used his own experience to offer fellow Scouser Rooney some hope of salvation following more lurid details about the Manchester United star's private life.
The Liverpool midfielder, who leads England against Switzerland tonight, said: "Incredibly enough, I played some of my best football when I was going through my court case.
"As Paul Gascoigne once said, the only way to escape is out on the pitch. That's certainly what happened to me."