England Captain Steven Gerrard Rocked By Internet Lies Over apos;affair apos;
England captain Steven Gerrard rocked by internet lies over 'affair' By [/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Daily+Mail+Reporter Daily Mail Reporter]
Updated: 14:56 BST, 3 July 2010
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England captain Steven Gerrard must have thought life couldn't get much worse after the team's ignominious World Cup exit.
But last night he found himself fending off scurrilous internet rumours about his behaviour off the pitch.
Allegations that the footballer had an affair with his wife's 16-year-old sister began circulating via text messages and emails following England's defeat by Germany last weekend.
Rumours: Sources close to Alex Curran and Steven Gerrard have rubbished claims that the England captain had an affair
Within hours the rumours had spread across the world through internet football forums, blogs and social networking sites such as Twitter.
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Last night, wikiground.org the claims were dismissed as 'rubbish' by insiders - not least on the grounds that Gerrard's wife, Alex Curran, pictured below with the footballer, does not even have a sister.
The messages, which have been received by thousands, say that England's poor performances in South Africa were a result of a rift in the team caused by Gerrard's alleged affair.
Team tension: Gerrard, front, arrives back in London with his teammates after the World Cup.
There is speculation that divisions in the dressing room contributed to the team's poor performance
They claim that John Terry and other players were furious that the midfielder was allowed to keep the captaincy even though Fabio Capello stripped Terry of the post when he was exposed for having an affair with another player's ex-girlfriend earlier in the year.
Alex Curran, pictured in Liverpool this week, is planning a post-World Cup holiday with her husband
The divisions in the dressing room were so severe that the team were unable to play together on the pitch, they allege.
The messages also claim that a 'gagging order' is in place to prevent newspapers printing the story about the Liverpool FC player.
But no injunction exists, and sources close to the footballer have dismissed the rumours as 'utter rubbish and nonsense'.
Gerrard's lawyer has confirmed that there has been no attempt to secure an injunction.
In May, when similar rumours were spread online, Miss Curran, 27, told OK! Magazine: 'Steven and I trust each other. I know that there are some girls who do fling themselves at footballers, but I don't worry about it with Steven.'
The couple have two daughters, Lilly-Ella, six, and three-year-old Lexie.
They married three years ago.
Media lawyers have warned that it is virtually impossible to stop malicious gossip from spreading on the internet, largely as a result of the growing popularity of social networking sites.
Sarah Webb, head of media and defamation at Russell Jones & Walker, said: 'It is like a fungus.
The tendrils are everywhere and so quickly that you can't stop it.'
Last night, a spokesman for Liverpool FC declined to make any comment. Gerrard's agent was also unavailable.