Sunderland have suspended midfielder Darron Gibson after he was charged with drink driving following a multi-car crash on a pedestrian street in the city.

Pictures emerged over the weekend of damage to several cars, including the former Manchester United and Everton player’s own £75,000 Mercedes, as well as shots of Gibson speaking to police officers.

Sunderland, who are bottom of the Championship and facing a second successive relegation after dropping out of the top flight last year, decided to order the player to stay away from the training ground because of the seriousness of the offence.

Gibson is currently injured and would not have played in the Black Cats’ 2-0 home defeat to Preston North End, even if he had not been arrested just three hours before kick-off.

The club said in a statement on Sunday morning:  “Sunderland AFC has suspended Darron Gibson with immediate effect, after the player was charged with driving with excess alcohol on Saturday 17 March. The football club has commenced a full investigation into the matter.

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