Rooney's grovelling apology as he admits drink-driving
Wayne Rooney will have to carry out unpaid work in the community for his "terrible error in judgment" in drink-driving on a night out.
The former England and Manchester United captain was caught driving a woman's Volkswagen Beetle in the early hours of September 1 when he was nearly three times the legal limit.
Admitting the offence when he appeared before Stockport Magistrates' Court yesterday, Rooney (31) conceded he had let his family and himself down "very badly" and had also disappointed his fans as he received a two-year driving ban.
After hearing that Rooney was likely to be fined two weeks' wages by his current employers, Everton FC, District Judge John Temperley said he was "not convinced" that a large financial penalty from the court would have the "same punitive effect" as a community order.
As part of his sentence, Rooney, of Prestbury, Cheshire, must complete 100 hours of unpaid work in the community in his local area within the next 12 months. He must also pay £170 (€192) court costs.
Recently retired from England and during an international break from Premier League action, Rooney reportedly left a cocktail bar in Wilmslow, Cheshire, in a taxi with lettings agent Laura Simpson (29) and later went on to take the wheel of her vehicle.
His pregnant wife, Coleen (31), and their sons Kai, Klay and Kit, were on holiday in Spain at the time.
Police on patrol stopped Rooney in Altrincham Road, Wilmslow, at 2.10am - with Ms Simpson in the front passenger seat - after they noticed a rear tail-light out.
Rooney was "fully co-operative" as he gave a positive roadside breath test and was then taken to a local police station, where he produced a reading of 104 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit in England and Wales is 35 microgrammes.
Officers said he was "the perfect gentleman" at the police station, the court was told.
Rooney's solicitor, Michael Rainford, told the hearing: "Wayne Rooney wishes to express his genuine remorse for what was a terrible mistake, a terrible error of judgment on his part that evening."
Rooney said in a statement: "I want publicly to apologise for my unforgivable lack of judgment in driving while over the legal limit. It was completely wrong."