Bramble arrested over 'rape' in Newcastle hotel

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The Sunderland defender Titus Bramble was arrested on suspicion of rape yesterday.

The 29-year-old was detained after the alleged rape of a young woman was reported to police in the early hours of the morning.

Bramble, a former England Under-21 player, was being questioned by detectives investigating the alleged attack at a Newcastle city centre hotel. A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Police received a report of a rape of a woman at a city centre hotel in Newcastle in the early hours. Two men, aged 29 and 30, have been arrested on suspicion of rape."

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has pledged the club's full support to Bramble. Quinn revealed Bramble "strenuously denies any wrong-doing" and will fight to clear his name.

"This has been a very difficult day for everyone at the football club, no one more so than Titus, who categorically refutes the allegations that have been made against him," Quinn said in a statement. "He strenuously denies any wrong-doing and will be doing everything within his power to clear his name. I, as chairman, and the club as a whole, totally support Titus in his efforts and we all hope for a swift conclusion to this matter."

The second man arrested was Bramble's brother, Tesfaye Bramble, police confirmed. The 30-year-old striker, who has played international football for Montserrat, a British island in the Caribbean, plays for Eastern Counties League Premier Division club Leiston, in Suffolk.

Bramble, the former Ipswich and Newcastle United defender, was signed by the Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce, from Wigan Athletic for a fee of around £1m in the summer.

The Barnsley midfielder Nathan Doyle has been arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine. Doyle, a former England Under-20 international, was stopped by police at 1.25pm on Monday after he and two other men were seen acting suspiciously in an Audi car. Officers who stopped the men on Osmaston Road in Derby found a substance in the vehicle that they believed to be the class A drug.