Adam Johnson
Sunderland's Adam Johnson said he will be denying the charges against him (Getty Images/Laurence Griffiths)

Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson has appeared in court for the first time charged with having sex with a 15-year-old girl and grooming.

Johnson, from Castle Eden in County Durham, appeared at Peterlee Magistrates' Court following his arrest in March. His solicitor, Paul Morris, told the court the winger would be denying the accusations against him.

The footballer was released on bail until his next appearance at Durham Crown Court on 3 June.

Johnson is accused three counts of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16, which were alleged to have taken place in January, while the meeting a child after sexual grooming offence was alleged to have happened between December 2014 and February 2015.

Johnson has been cleared to continue to play for Sunderland while investigations are ongoing. The 27-year-old featured during the game at Leicester on 16 May and is expected to make an appearance during their game against Arsenal on 20 May.

Johnson, who has previously played for Manchester City and Middlesbrough, has been capped 12 times for England, scoring two goals.