England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was violently threatened and assaulted near his home in an affluent suburb of Liverpool.

The 33-year-old was getting out of his Land Rover outside a convenience store near the home he shares with wife Alex, 31, and their two children when a man attacked him.

After threatening and attacking Gerrard, the man fled leaving the star badly shaken but uninjured.

The attack, which had been kept secret for several months, will raise fresh concern for the safety of Gerrard and his family, according to the Sunday Mirror.

Soon afterwards, a female police officer was arrested and quizzed by detectives in an investigation into whether an attempt had been made to acquire CCTV footage of the attack from a nearby shop.

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "As a result of this investigation, a female officer who has been on a career break since early this year is being investigated in relation to potential misconduct in a public office. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

Police are still hunting the man who committed the attack in August.

It is not the first time Gerrard has found himself the target of criminals.

In September, a man scaled a perimeter training fence at Liverpool's training ground and threatened Gerrard and his family.

The man sped away on a bike shouting: "I'll kill you and your f****** kids."

In 2007, a masked criminal broke in to Gerrard's home while Alex was at home and the couple's children asleep upstairs in one of a succession of burglaries targeting the homes of Liverpool players when they were abroad for foreign fixtures.

Gerrard was terrorised by a gangster who threatened to shoot him in the legs and pursued him home in a car chase when he was returning from training in 2001.

There were also unconfirmed reports that Gerrard pulled out of a move to Chelsea that was all but sealed in 2004 after threats were made by Liverpool criminals.