Rooney's dad held in bet scam probe

Wayne Rooney’s father was one of nine men arrested today as part of an investigation into suspicious betting activity, sources said.

Wayne Rooney’s father was one of nine men arrested today as part of an investigation into suspicious betting activity, sources said.

Wayne Rooney senior, 48, was detained at his home in the West Derby area of Liverpool.

Also arrested at his Glasgow home was Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings.

The arrests were carried out by Merseyside Police in a joint operation with the Gambling Commission.

The investigation relates to a match between Motherwell and Hearts on December 14 last year, Merseyside Police said.

It is also understood that Manchester United star Rooney's uncle Richie, 54, was also detained.

All the suspects are being held for questioning at police stations across Merseyside.

In a statement, Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said the arrests follow “extensive inquiries” into alleged betting irregularities at the Scottish Premier League match.

Regan said: “While the investigation involves several other individuals out with Scotland, it is important to stress that the evidence gathered throughout this thorough period of investigation has involved only one Scottish match.

“Motherwell FC are aware of the situation and will issue a response in due course.

“The Scottish FA will make no further comment at this stage.”

In a statement Merseyside Police said: “Detectives have today executed warrants at 10 addresses across Merseyside and Glasgow and arrested nine men as part of an investigation into suspicious betting activity.

“The arrests are the culmination of a joint operation with the Gambling Commission and the nine who have been arrested for conspiracy to defraud are being interviewed by detectives.

“Those arrested are a 29-year-old from Bootle, a 48-year-old from West Derby, a 54-year-old from Norris Green, a 26-year-old from Croxteth, a 22-year-old from Kirkdale, a 31-year-old from Litherland, a 68-year-old from Fazakerley, a 36-year-old from Kirkby and a 26-year-old from Glasgow.

“The investigation relates to a match between Motherwell and Hearts on December 14 2010.”

Jennings was shown a straight red card in the 83rd minute of Motherwell's 2-1 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat by Hearts after complaining to referee Stevie O'Reilly about a rejected penalty claim.

The midfielder had also been booked early in the match for fouling Kevin Kyle as Hearts launched a dangerous break.

That was his seventh booking of the SPL campaign and incurred a two-match suspension, with the red card sparking an automatic one-game ban.

Jennings was shown on live television coverage of the game lashing out angrily at a plastic cup in the dressing room following his red card.

The investigation by the Gambling Commission, an independent body which was formed under the Gambling Act (2005), began several days later after some members of the Association of British Bookmakers publicly raised concerns about betting patterns on the game.

Jennings has been a key player for Motherwell since joining from Tranmere in the summer of 2009 and signed his third one-year contract at Fir Park in July.

The club, who sit second in the SPL, are expected to release a statement later today.

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