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Liverpool pledge support for troubled Gerrard

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been charged with assault and affray and could face a maximum five-year jail term if convicted. The 28-year-old midfielder was charged in relation to an incident in a Southport bar in the early hours of Monday morning.

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 comment is the only one to have been made by the club in relation to Gerrard's arrest, which occurred just hours after a man-of-the-match display in Sunday's 5-1 win at Newcastle.

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.

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