A former Birmingham City footballer has appeared in court charged with offences involving crack cocaine.
Ex-Blues and Everton midfielder Mark Ward was arrested by drugs squad officers following a raid on a house in Prescot, Merseyside, last Thursday. Detectives discovered cocaine and crack cocaine with an estimated street value of £2.5 million.
The 42-year-old was taken to a police station where he was questioned throughout Thursday. He was charged with multiple drugs offences on Friday afternoon.
He appeared before St Helens magistrates on Saturday on charges of possession with intent to supply cocaine, possession with intent to supply crack cocaine, and being concerned in the production of crack cocaine.
Several kilograms of Class A drugs were discovered together with a variety of drugs paraphernalia
A Merseyside Police spokeswoman said: "Mark Ward, of McVinnie Road, Prescot, has been charged with three drug offences. He appeared before St Helens Magistrates and is due to appear before Knowsley Magistrates on May 19."
The Liverpool-born midfielder started with Everton and later played for Oldham Athletic, Manchester City and West Ham. He was signed for Birmingham City by Barry Fry in 1994 for £500,000.
Ward later became playercoach but left in March 1996 for Huddersfield Town. He retired the following year.
Ward was in the Blues side that won the Second Division championship and the Auto Windscreen Shield in 1995.