London:Liverpool threw its full support behind captain Steven Gerrard on Tuesday after he was charged with assault and affray in connection with a brawl at a bar.
The England international, hailed as one of the world's best midfielders, was charged early Tuesday alongside two other men after spending 24 hours in police custody following the incident in the seaside resort of Southport in Merseyside.
A conviction on occasioning actual bodily harm and affray carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.
"Steven has been an outstanding servant to Liverpool for the last 10 years and the club will give him all the support he needs at this time," Liverpool said in a statement to The Associated Press.
The midfielder was released on bail to appear in court on January 23, 2009 with John Doran, 29, and Ian Smith, 19, who were charged with the same offenses by Merseyside Police.
Liverpool faces Preston on Saturday in the FA Cup.
The 28-year-old Gerrard has been in the Liverpool first team for 10 years and is pivotal to the club's push for a first English league title since 1990.
At the time of Monday's arrest he had been celebrating the Reds' 5-1 victory over Newcastle in which he scored twice that helped the team extend its lead atop the Premier League to three points.