Fletcher family threatened at knife-point

Armed men have raided the home of Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher while the player was away in Italy, stealing jewellery and threatening his fiancee with a knife.

Police sources said three men kicked open the front door of Fletcher's home in the Manchester suburb of Bowdon on Monday evening and forced the woman to hand over her engagement ring.

One of the attackers then held a knife to her throat, demanding that she hand over more valuables. Her mother was also threatened at knifepoint before the victims handed over more jewellery.

Fletcher, a Scotland international, was in Italy for Manchester United's Champions League match with Inter Milan on Tuesday.

The raid follows a series of break-ins at the homes of Liverpool players in recent months while they have been away playing high-profile matches.

"This was a terrifying attack for the victims who were at home," said Sergeant Phil Seeley of Greater Manchester Police.