Former Liverpool and England footballer Robbie Fowler has pleaded not guilty to using his mobile phone while driving.
Mr Fowler, 33, of Caldy Road, Caldy, Wirral, is accused of committing the offence in his BMW X5 in Netherton Way, Bootle, on 14 November last year.
He was not at South Sefton Magistrates' Court in Bootle, Merseyside, for the hearing and his plea was entered through his solicitor Richard Green.
The case was adjourned until a trial on 20 March.
Mr Fowler, who recently signed for Australian side North Queensland Fury, is expected to attend the next hearing.
Mr Green told the court: "He is actually abroad at this time. I now enter a not guilty plea on his part."
If convicted the striker could be fined £60 or given three penalty points on his driving licence. THE BBC