Richards quizzed over nightclub 'assault'

Richards quizzed over nightclub ‘assault’ 20-year-old arrested over alleged Christmas Eve attack
Another man arrested on suspicion of blackmail

Manchester City’s Micah Richards ‘vigorously denies’ any offence. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/Reuters

Manchester City star Micah Richards has been quizzed by police over an alleged assault outside a nightclub.

Richards, 20, was arrested yesterday over the alleged assault on a man in Hale, near Altrincham, Greater Manchester, in the early hours of Christmas Eve.

The England player, who became the youngest defender to be capped for his country in 2006, went to a police station to be questioned and was later released on bail, reported the Manchester Evening News.

It is understood the alleged victim, believed to be 18, made a complaint that he was assaulted outside a club in Ashley Road, Hale, at about 12.30am on 24 December but Manchester City say Richards has not been charged with any offence and ‘vigorously denies’ any involvement.

“We can confirm that he attended a police station by appointment,” said a City spokesman. “He is fully co-operating with the police with their inquiries. I would like to point out that he has not been charged with any offence and vigorously denies any involvement. The investigation continues and the club remains fully supportive.”

Richards was born in Birmingham in 1988, and grew up in Leeds. He was a schoolboy at Oldham Athletic before he moved to Manchester City at the age of 14, making his Premiership debut for the Blues against Arsenal in October 2005. The 20-year-old was named the club’s Young Player of the Year during his first season at Eastlands.

In February last year he signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract at City, while last month he used his website to deny rumours he was to be transferred to another club.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “A 20-year-old man has been arrested after an assault outside a Hale nightclub. The man was arrested on suspicion of section 47 assault by appointment on 4 February. He has been bailed until 8 April and enquiries are continuing.”

In a seperate development it was revealed that a 29-year-old man had been arrested and questioned by police in Manchester on suspicion of blackmailing one of their players. The man, from Stockport, has been bailed until 4 March. Manchesster City declined to comment last night.

“A 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of blackmail as part of an investigation by police on 31 January. He has been bailed until 4 March and the enquiries continue.”