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The BBC's Toby Sealey
"Lancashire police say they are satisfied the homeowner acted bravely and responsibly"
 real 28k

Monday, 8 January, 2001, 12:12 GMT
Everton star speaks of relief
Duncan Ferguson
Duncan Ferguson is one of Everton's top players
Everton footballer Duncan Ferguson has said he is "very concerned" after a violent incident at his Lancashire home on Sunday but relieved that his family is safe.

Officers were called to the house in Rufford, near Ormskirk, at around 0100GMT after reports that there had been a break-in.

It is believed Mr Ferguson discovered two intruders at his home. One was arrested at the scene while the other man managed to flee. Police have since arrested a second suspect.


Police are satisfied that the homeowner, who himself was injured during the scuffle, acted both bravely and responsibly

Insp Steve Sansbury
In a statement issued through his solicitor, Kevin Dooley, Mr Ferguson said he was thankful his wife and baby had not been injured.

"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."

Everton's communications manager Alan Myers said everyone at the club was "extremely relieved" to hear Mr Ferguson and his family were safe and well.

Police are to question a 21-year-old man arrested following the incident. He is in hospital after suffering injuries during a scuffle.

A second suspect, described as a 23-year-old local man, was arrested on Monday.

The 29-year-old, 6ft 4in Scottish striker, rejoined Everton in a 3.75m transfer from Newcastle United in the summer.

Ferguson played in Everton's FA Cup victory against Watford on Saturday.

Officers praised Mr Ferguson for his actions - saying he behaved "bravely and responsibly" after encountering intruders in his home.

Injuries

They added that he had suffered minor head injuries during the incident.

Inspector Steve Sansbury of Lancashire Police said: "At about 0105 this (Sunday) morning police attended a report of a burglary, at a private address near to Ormskirk in Lancashire.

"An alleged offender was still on the premises having been detained by the householder.

"One of the alleged offenders was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries sustained during a scuffle with the householder, and a second offender fled the scene.

"Police inquiries are continuing to trace him."

He added: "The householder has specifically asked not to be named, but has been interviewed by Lancashire Police about the incident.

Prison

"Police are satisfied that the homeowner, who himself was injured during the scuffle, acted both bravely and responsibly to encountering these intruders in his home."

"A 21-year-old male is under arrest and detained at Ormskirk General District Hospital.

"The householder did receive minor injuries to his head, which did not require hospital treatment."

Mr Ferguson has had a controversial career.

In 1995 he served 44 days in Barlinnie Prison after headbutting an opponent while playing for Glasgow Rangers in 1994.

He became the first professional footballer to be jailed for an offence on the field.

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See also:

07 Jan 01 | Everton
The centre of attention
06 Jan 01 | FA Cup
Everton snatch Watford win
05 Jan 01 | Football
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