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Wayne Rooney's father arrested over alleged football betting scam 06/10/2011
Helen Carter
Wayne Rooney Sr was arrested as part of an investigation into suspicious betting activity relating to a game between Motherwell and Hearts in December.

Police have arrested Wayne Rooney's father, his uncle Richie and seven other people, including a Scottish Premier League player, over allegations of a football betting scam.

The arrests, carried out across Merseyside and Glasgow, relate to a game between Motherwell and Hearts in December last year, which Hearts won 2-1 following a second half penalty.

The Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings was arrested after allegedly getting himself sent off deliberately during the match.

It is believed that there was a pattern of irregular betting, with stakes being put on a red card being given. One was allegedly from a new account opened in Liverpool, from where £500 was staked at odds of 10/1.

Rooney's 48-year-old father, also called Wayne, is thought to have been arrested at his home in the West Derby district of Liverpool.

Wayne Rooney, Richie Rooney and two other men were later bailed pending further enquiries. Jennings remained in custody along with four others.

Thursday's arrests follow a nine-month investigation into the sending off of 26-year-old Jennings, who previously played for Tranmere Rovers.

Jennings, who was born in Kirkby, was arrested at his home in Glasgow on behalf of the Gambling Commission.

After being booked for a foul early in the game, he was given a red card for putting his hand on referee Stevie O'Reilly and arguing when a penalty appeal was turned down in the 83rd minute of the game.

He is alleged to have asked O'Reilly when he was going to stop "cheating" Motherwell.

Bookmakers raised concerns when it emerged that several bets had been made on a player being sent off, including the £500 staked in Liverpool.

Two members of the Association of British Bookmakers, including the online betting company Blue Square, expressed concerns the day after the match.

A Merseyside police statement 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.

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

In a statement, the Scottish FA's chief executive, Stewart Regan, said: "While the investigation involves several other individuals outside 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."