Other top footballers targeted by thieves

Top footballers have been regular targets for thieves, with many raids taking place while they are away at matches.

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Current England captain Steven Gerrard was one of several Liverpool players to have had their homes raided during an 18-month spell shortly after they won the Champions League in 2005.

Thieves escaped with a woman's Rolex watch and two sets of car keys after breaking into the house in Merseyside as he played for his club in Marseille.

Everton and England defender Phil Jagielka was robbed at knifepoint at his Cheshire home in 2009 while watching his team play on television.

The 31-year-old was watching his side play Hull in the League Cup when three men burst into his home in Knutsford and forced him to hand over jewellery and the keys to his Range Rover.

Ashley Cole, the former England and Chelsea defender, had his bachelor pad in Surrey broken into in 2010 while away with the England squad for their match with Switzerland.

England midfielder Frank Lampard also had to contact police in 2008 after his home was targeted while he and his pregnant then-girlfriend were asleep.

Burglars snatched keys to Lampard's Mercedes 4x4 and Aston Martin before driving the vehicles away, laden with a computer and TV also taken from the footballer's three-storey home.

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher had his home raided while his club side played in Italy in February 2009. A gang broke into Fletcher's family home in upmarket Bowdon, Greater Manchester, and threatened a woman at the house before raiding rooms and snatching property.

In 2005, former Bolton defender Mark Fish was tied up and robbed after his home appeared on TV show Footballers' Cribs. He was the second victim of raiders following an appearance on the MTV show after former England goalkeeper Ian Walker was also targeted.

More recently, Watford midfielder Alexander Merkel was robbed on the doorstep of his home in Hampstead, north London, by a gang who tried to batter down his front door with mopeds last month.

Also in May, Wigan Athletic player James McArthur had his FA Cup winner's medal stolen in a burglary at his home, along with two wedding rings.

Swansea City head coach and former player Garry Monk was burgled last November while he underwent knee surgery.

South Wales Police said Monk lost property of "great sentimental value" when a back door was forced at his family home in Gower Road, in the well-heeled area of Killay, in Swansea.

Birmingham City winger Peter Lovenkrands was robbed of a diamond-encrusted watch outside his family home in Solihull in January last year. The former Rangers forward was approached by two men as he parked his car before they made off with his £30,000 wristwatch.


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