Adam Johnson, the Sunderland and England footballer, could face more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to two child sex offences involving a 15-year-old girl.
The Premier League star, who has 12 England caps, changed his original plea at Bradford Crown Court yesterday (local time) on the first day of his trial.
The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of grooming the teenager and one count of kissing her in a sexual manner.
But he continued to deny two further alleged offences involving the same girl, and will now stand trial, with the prosecution expected to begin outlining its case against him on Friday.
Johnson, from Castle Eden, Co Durham, was supported by his girlfriend Stacey Flounders, 26, and his father.
His barrister, Orlando Pownall QC, indicated that Johnson wanted the first two counts on the indictment to be put to him again. When asked how he pleaded, the £50,000-a-week ($102,365-a-week) player replied, "guilty".
The offences were alleged to have taken place in January and February last year.
Johnson's guilty pleas mean he could face two and a half years in prison. If found guilty of the more serious offences, which he denies, he could be jailed for a maximum of 14 years.
The Telegraph, London