Sam Kerr to face trial for racially aggravated harassment of a police officer

Chelsea striker and Australia international Sam Kerr
Chelsea striker and Australia international Sam Kerr - Getty Images/Alex Davidson

Chelsea striker Sam Kerr will stand trial next year after appearing in court charged with the racially aggravated harassment of a police officer.

Australia captain Kerr denies using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress during an incident in Twickenham, south west London, on Jan 30 last year.

The 30-year-old appeared at Kingston Crown Court via videolink, speaking only to confirm her identity and enter a not guilty plea to the charge.

She was ordered to attend a four-day trial, scheduled for February next year, during which two police officers are expected to give evidence.

A Metropolitan Police statement read: “The charge relates to an incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint involving a taxi fare on 30 January 2023 in Twickenham.”

Football Australia boss James Johnson said: “Of course, it’s a very serious allegation. It regards racism and there’s no place for racism in our sport.

“At the same time Sam has rights, natural justice rights, procedural rights that she’s got to work her way through and we’re respectful of that.”

Australia coach Tony Gustavsson added: “The only thing I can comment on is my experience and interaction with Sam as a person, as a footballer, and I have only positive experiences.”

Chelsea declined to comment when approached by Telegraph Sport.

Kerr is currently sidelined after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury during Chelsea’s warm-weather training camp in Monaco in January.

She is widely regarded as one of the best players in women’s football and has been shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or Féminin every year since its inception six years ago.

She has scored 99 goals in 128 matches since signing for Chelsea in 2019 and has won four Women’s Super League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups and the Community Shield.

She is the only female player to have won the golden boot in three different leagues and on three different continents, and is also Australia’s all-time top goalscorer.

Such is her standing, she was even chosen to carry her nation’s flag at the King’s coronation at Westminster Abbey last May, fronting an Australian contingent which included the prime minister, Anthony Albanese.

“Obviously it’s an amazing honour,” Kerr told Chelsea’s official website at the time. “I found out I’d been offered the role from a phone call, but I wasn’t sure if I could do it because we have a game on Sunday. Emma [Hayes, the Chelsea manager] has been kind enough to let me miss a practice for it, which is very nice of her.”

Kerr and fellow footballer Kristie Mewis confirmed in November that they were engaged to be married.

United States midfielder Mewis, who joined West Ham United the following month, told People magazine that, along with her parents and sister, Kerr had “just been everything” to her. “My biggest supporter, always listening to me nag and complain, all of my crazy antics,” she said.

The pair were previously in a long-distance relationship of which Kerr had said: “We both just want each other to do so well in our careers. I don’t think you could be in a long-distance relationship with someone who didn’t get the sport. She fully gets it and I get it. So we just support each other.”

The pair have also spoken about the importance of sharing their relationship on social media to normalise “being two girls in love”.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.