West Ham player and his mother are stabbed at her home

Emergency surgery for £3m centre-back Calum Davenport after he is seriously injured in late-night incident outside family house
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The Independent Online

A Premier League footballer and his mother were taken to hospital yesterday after they were stabbed during a confrontation with a group of youths. Calum Davenport, a defender with West Ham United, and his mother Kim Davenport were taken to hospital after they were knifed in the early hours.

The defender, 26, was injured during a row outside a house in Springfield Avenue in the small Bedfordshire town of Kempston, 10 miles from Milton Keynes.

Police described the 6ft 4in footballer's injury as "serious", but not life-threatening. He underwent emergency surgery yesterday and was said to be making a steady recovery. His mother's injury was said to be less serious.

Neighbours who witnessed the attack said a group of six or seven young men were shouting threats outside Mrs Davenport's semi-detached home. One woman, who did not want to be named, said: "The group of people was shouting very loudly, they must have been because it was about half past four in the morning and they woke me up.

"I saw them standing in the street shouting at a woman and then someone was on the floor and they all started walking away again, still shouting at the top of their voices."

Another neighbour said there had been another confrontation last month, when cars pulled up outside the house. "It was just before the summer holidays and there was lots of shouting and screaming then, too," he said.

Davenport, a centre back who has played for the England under-21 team eight times, is married and has one child. It is thought they live in another town about eight miles away.

A spokesman for his club, who play Tottenham Hotspur at home today, said: "West Ham United can confirm that Calum Davenport was being treated in hospital after an incident late on Friday night.

"The 26-year-old defender and his mum both suffered stab wounds at home in Bedford. His mum is recovering while Calum underwent surgery on Saturday morning and his injuries were described as serious by doctors.

"The club's medical team are in contact with hospital staff. The thoughts of everyone at West Ham are with Calum and his family and, due to the ongoing police investigation, no further information will be released at this time."

The footballer was bought by West Ham for £3m from Tottenham in 2007. Before that he played for Coventry City, where he made his debut in 2001. He has had spells on loan at Sunderland, Watford, Southampton and Norwich City and was recently linked with a move to Championship side Nottingham Forest.

Last night, police investigating the incident said a two men, one aged 19, the other aged 25, had been arrested in connection with the incident.