A FOOTBALLER has been charged with grievous bodily harm (GBH) following an alleged incident that left York City striker Chris Beardsley with a broken jaw.

Grays Athletic centre-back Jamie Stuart has been charged by Essex Police after being arrested on suspicion of assault in September.

An Essex Police spokeswoman said: "A man has been charged with GBH following an incident at a football match in Grays in September.

"A 31-year-old man from Sidcup, in Kent, was charged and bailed to appear before magistrates in Grays on December 20."

The former England Under-21 international was arrested in relation to the alleged incident that left York City striker Chris Beardsley with a broken jaw in two places.

Beardsley, 23, suffered the injury during an off-the-ball clash with Stuart during the Minstermen's 2-0 victory at Grays on Saturday, September 22.

The incident happened 19 minutes into the Blue Square Premier game at the Recreation Ground.

Defender Stuart conceded a penalty and was sent off for violent conduct after his offence was spotted by one of referee David Phillips' assistants.

Beardsley travelled back with his team-mates following their win and only reported the alleged assault two days later - after a one-hour operation at Derby Hospital which saw three plates inserted into his jaw.

The former Mansfield and Kidderminster forward then spent more than six weeks on the sidelines, before scoring on his return to action when York City Reserves travelled to Scunthorpe United on November 7.

Beardsley had turned down a loan move to Blue Square North team Tamworth only days before he broke his jaw, deciding to stay and prove his worth with York after struggling to keep a first-team place.

He endured his first full 90 minutes when the reserves were beaten 2-1 at Hartlepool United on November 14 and played his first senior game since his return against Crawley Town on December 1.

He then scored in a 3-0 win over Pickering Town in the North Riding Senior Cup on December 4.