Wales and Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans has been charged with rape, his lawyers said last night.
The 22-year-old striker was arrested in Rhyl at the end of May for the alleged offence and has since been charged by North Wales Police.
Evans, who has 13 caps for Wales, has been bailed and will appear in court in August.
He vehemently denies the charge, his lawyers said.
In a statement released on Sheffield United's official website, the player's legal representatives said: "We wish to confirm that Ched Evans has this week been charged with an offence of rape by the North Wales Police.
"Ched has decided voluntarily to make this information public as he wishes to express his extreme shock and disappointment at having been charged with this offence, particularly given the evidence upon which the charge has been brought.
"Ched wishes to place on record that he strenuously denies the charge and will defend it vigorously in order to clear his name.
"No further comment will be made while the legal process is ongoing."
An official statement from his club added: "Sheffield United Football Club has been made aware of legal proceedings involving one of its employees.
"The club will be making no statements on this matter during the course of these proceedings, which have been reported in the national media."