Ferguson thwarts thieves

Detectives were today waiting to question two men arrested after a suspected break-in at the luxury home of soccer star Duncan Ferguson.

Police are understood to be investigating allegations that the Everton hero was headbutted and hit with a bottle during a struggle at his converted barn in Rufford, Lancs.

It is understood the player's wife Janine and his six-and-a-half month daughter were in the house during the incident shortly after 1am on Sunday.

Officers were expecting to question one suspect, who was injured during the fracas with the 29-year-old forward, later this afternoon.

The 21-year-old, who was restrained by Ferguson until police arrived, was taken by ambulance to Ormskirk District General hospital where he was detained overnight.

A 23-year-old local man was arrested this morning and taken to Ormskirk Police Station for questioning.

The Scottish footballer declined to comment on the alleged break-in when he answered the door of his home this morning.

Plagued by injury throughout his career, he left his home for training this morning apparently none the worse for yesterday's episode.

He drove through his home's electric gates in a black Range Rover heading for Everton FC's Bellefield training ground.

In a statement his friend and solicitor Kevin Dooley said: "Duncan Ferguson is understandably very concerned about events of the early hours of Sunday morning.

"Thankfully there was no serious injury suffered by his wife, baby or himself.

"He will be available for selection on Saturday next for the game against Tottenham Hotspur," added Mr Dooley.

Alan Myers, communications manager for Everton FC, said staff were "extremely relieved to hear that Duncan Ferguson and his family are safe and well following the incident at his home in the early hours of Sunday morning.

"Due to legal reasons there is very little the club can add other than to say we are quite confident to leave the matter with the Lancashire Police who have responded in an exemplary fashion."

Police yesterday praised the actions of the householder who they declined to identify as the Everton star.

A spokesman said: "He has been interviewed by the Lancashire Police and we are satisfied that he acted both bravely and responsibly when encountering these intruders in his home."

Neighbours of Ferguson told how they heard helicopters circling the area in the early hours of Sunday morning and said the footballer "seemed pleasant".

"It's mainly a farming area around here not some place for the rich and famous. I have only seen him once or twice running down the lane in his shorts but he always seems very pleasant," one neighbour said.

Ferguson served 44 days in the notorious Barlinnine Prison in 1995 after head-butting an opponent while playing for Glasgow Rangers in 1994.

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now