Darren Fletcher's home robbed

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The fiancée of Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher had a knife held to her throat by raiders who forced their way into the couple's home hours after he had left the country for a Champions League match against Inter Milan.

According to the Guardian, three men wearing hoods on their heads, one with his face masked, kicked open the front door of the house while Fletcher's fiancée Hayley Grice and her mother were watching television at around 9pm on Monday.

Grice was forced to hand over her £30,000 engagement ring before one of the men grabbed her by the hair and held a knife against her throat, demanding more property. The couple’s twin sons, Jack and Tyler, aged 2, were asleep upstairs at the time.

Grice's mother, who was staying at the £1.5 million mansion in Bowdon, Greater Manchester, while Fletcher flew to Italy with United, was also threatened at knifepoint.

The men escaped with numerous watches and pieces of jewelry.

"This was a cowardly attack by three men on two women," said Detective Inspector Frank Morris of Greater Manchester police. "They are both very shaken and very upset at what happened."

Over the past two and a half years, more than a dozen footballers' homes around Manchester and Liverpool have been robbed or burgled, almost all when the players were known to be taking part in matches abroad or elsewhere in England.

Liverpool players have been the most commonly targeted, with nine of them – Steven Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt, Pepe Reina, Jerzy Dudek, Daniel Agger, Peter Crouch, Florent Sinama-Pongolle, Robbie Keane and Lucas Leiva – suffering domestic burglaries or robberies while they were away from home.

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