Arsenal striker and Nigerian footballer, Chuba Akpom has been banned from driving after leaving a trail of wreckage when he crashed his £60k Range Rover while boozed up on vodka cranberry juices.
The star, 22, was behind the wheel at 4.50am in the morning on December 17 near his home in Barnet, North London, when he lost control.
Akpom, believed to be on £780,000 a year mounted a grass verge near a petrol garage, smashing roadside furniture, before knocking down a large fence.
Cops had clocked him and walked through the debris littering the road to order him to make him take a breath test, which he failed.
The footballer, who has been on loan to current premiership contenders Brighton was then taken to Colindale police station where he was later charged.
In a bizarre twist, it sparked a kidnap alert with Akpom’s dad, who found the abandoned car the next day and wrongly feared his son had been snatched for ransom until he arrived home by taxi.
Yesterday, the footballer was hauled to Willesden Magistrates Court where he admitted driving the black 3-litre diesel automatic with 72 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
Prosecutor Zahid Hussain told the court Akpom, who signed his first pro contract with the Gunners the day after his seventeenth birthday, was caught near his home.
Akpom has made ten first-team appearances for Arsenal and had loan spells with Brentford; Coventry City; Nottingham Forest; Hull City and Brighton & Hove Albion.
His lawyer Aki Achillea told the court Akpom’s father feared the worst when he saw the damaged vehicle near the family home.
He said: “His father woke up later and found the crashed car outside the gate with no driver and for a moment he was seriously concerned about what had happened to his son.
“He was about to ring hospitals and the police, fearing his son, being a high-profile footballer, had been abducted so this has affected the family as well.
“He has let himself down and made a dreadful mistake for a boy that has always been so disciplined.”
The lawyer said Akpom had “succumbed to temptation” while out with pals in the West End. He had been drinking just cranberry juice when the party moved on to a club in Watford.
Akpom was fined £9,350, with £85 costs and disqualified from driving for 17 months.