Stockport - Former
England captain Wayne Rooney was on Monday banned from driving for two
years and ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid community work after
pleading guilty to drink-driving.
The Everton striker apologised for an "unforgivable lack of
judgement" following his sentencing by a court in northern England for
being nearly three times over the drink-drive limit while his pregnant
wife and their three sons were on holiday.
He was stopped by police when driving a woman's black Volkswagen
Beetle at around 02:00 on September 1 and later arrested
Stockport Magistrates' Court was told a breathalyser test showed
Rooney's alcohol level was 104 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of
The drink-drive limit in England and Wales is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath.
Rooney, 31, was banned from driving for two years and ordered to
perform 100 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order.
His legal team asked the judge to consider not imposing a community
order because of his ongoing charitable work but he said he was "not
convinced" that imposing a large fine "would have the same effect".
Rooney, who rejoined boyhood club Everton after 13 trophy-laden years
at Manchester United in July, tweeted an apology to his 16.4 million
"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," Rooney said in a 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."
Earlier, Rooney entered court in a dark blue suit and black tie and sat in the public gallery next to his agent Paul Stretford.
When asked how he pleaded to the charge that he drove under the
influence of alcohol while over the prescribed limit, he replied guilty.
Michael Rainford, defending, said Rooney accepted the facts of the prosecution case in full and highlighted his charity work.
"He is not somebody who pays lip service to the charities as so many
often do," he said. "This is somebody who is actually hands-on with the
work he carries out. It is something that is very close to his heart."
Following the hearing, the footballer left court with his lawyers
again followed by a media scrum of TV cameras, press photographers and
His entourage fought their way through the throng to a waiting people-carrier with tinted windows and Rooney was driven away.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman said earlier this month the matter
would be dealt with internally, adding that he was "disappointed" by the
Rooney has been married to his high-school sweetheart Coleen since 2008 and they are expecting their fourth child.
He was given a warm welcome at Old Trafford on his return to former
club Manchester United on Sunday but it ended in disappointment with a
4-0 defeat for Everton.
Rooney, England and Manchester United's record goalscorer, made a
successful start to his second Everton spell following his return,
scoring on his first two Premier League appearances.
His form moved England manager Gareth Southgate to offer him an
international recall, but he decided to call time on his England career.
Rooney first burst onto the scene aged just 16 at Everton and went on
to score 17 goals in 77 appearances for the "Toffees" before moving to
Manchester United, where he won multiple trophies, including the