Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson on drink-drive charge

 

Former England footballer Paul Merson has been summonsed to appear in court to face a charge of driving with excess alcohol following a motorway crash.

The 43-year-old Sky Sports pundit was arrested after his Mercedes collided with a lorry registered to the Ministry of Defence in the early hours of October 12.

Merson later claimed he had fallen asleep behind the wheel before colliding with the central reservation at 3.12am.

He was breathalysed at the side of the M40, near Warwick, before being taken to hospital for treatment to a cut to the head.

A Warwickshire Police spokesman said: "A 43-year-old man who was arrested following a collision on the M40 in Warwickshire on October 12 will appear in court to face a charge of driving with excess alcohol."

The ex-footballer is understood to have been returning to his home in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, after a charity event in Battersea, south London, in aid of Children In Need when he crashed on the northbound carriageway.

He later told the Daily Mirror he was "lucky to have survived".

"I fell asleep and just hit the central reservation," he said.

"I banged my head on the windscreen and the car is a write-off.

"I'm very lucky to have survived. I managed to get out by myself and the emergency services were brilliant."

Officers said he was "de-arrested" following the crash rather than bailed because he had not been held in custody at a police station.

A spokesman said today: "Blood tests were taken and sent away for analysis.

"The results have been received and the man will be reported by summons to appear in court at a date to be determined."

Merson - formerly of Arsenal, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Portsmouth - was pictured leaving hospital after the crash with bloodstains on the sleeves of his white shirt and cuts on his face.

He appeared to have had stitches for one wound above his eyebrow.

PA

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