Preston defender charged with drink driving

Clarke Carlisle
Clarke Carlisle

A SOCCER star once dubbed Britain’s brainiest footballer has been charged with drink driving.

Clarke Carlisle, a former Premier League centre-half and chair of the Professional Footballers’ Association, was stopped on Bury New Road in Prestwich.

Carlisle hit the headlines when he became the first footballer to appear on Question Time.

Officers spotted the star’s luxury £40,000 Audi Q7 being driven erratically and pulled it over. Mr Carlisle, 31, gave a breath test at the scene. He was arrested on suspicion of driving with excess alcohol and taken to Bury police station.

He has since been charged with drink driving and appeared before magistrates in Bury earlier this month. He pleaded not guilty and is due to stand trial in October.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “A 31-year-old man has been charged with driving with excess alcohol.

“Clarke Carlisle, of Ripponden, West Yorkshire, was charged with drink driving.

“At about 9.55am on 29 July, an Audi Q7 driving along Bury New Road was stopped by police after it was seen driving erratically.”

Mr Carlisle, who has represented England at Under 21 level, appeared on the long-standing BBC One political debate show Question Time in January.

He plays for Burnley but is currently on loan at hometown club Preston North End, he started his career at Blackpool

Last year, Mr Carlisle was named chair of the Professional Footballers Association, the professional footballers trade union.

He was named Britain’s Brainiest Football on an ITV quiz show in 2002 and has also appeared on the Channel 4 teatime show Countdown.

Standing at 6ft 3, Mr Carlisle began his career at Blackpool, making his debut in 1997.

From there he moved to Queens Park Rangers and has also had spells at Leeds United and Watford.

He appeared in the Premier League with Burnley in the 2009/10 season and played 131 times for the Clarets.

Spokesmen from both the PFA and Preston North End declined to comment when contacted.