Ex-footballer handed driving ban

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has received a driving ban after being found guilty of drink-driving.

The recently retired footballer denied the charges brought against him at Trafford Magistrates' Court after he was stopped by police on the M56 near his home in Styal, Cheshire, in July last year.

The court heard details of how the ex-Manchester City player had clipped the motorway kerb three times on his way home before failing breath and urine tests.

Hamann, 36, who was part of Liverpool's 2005 Champions League-winning squad, appointed the services of Nick 'Mr Loophole' Freeman's legal firm, which has gained a reputation among footballers and managers for its unusual technical defences.

However, Hamann's defence, which centred on claims that the urine specimen was "not reliable", was not enough to prevent the judge from banning him for 16 months.

He will also have to pay £1,990 in costs, which he was given 28 days to pay and will have to give up his International European Driving Licence. He should have obtained an English licence a year after settling in this country, the judge said.

Copyright © Press Association 2010