ENGLAND World Cup superstars could be ordered to give evidence against a Cheshire businessman accused of selling fake autographs.
Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, together with rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson and Liverpool legend Ian Rush, may also be called as witnesses against Graeme Walker, of Chester-based Sporting Icons Ltd, and co-defendant Faisal Madani.
The pair made their first appearance at Chester magistrates last week following an investigation by Cheshire Trading Standards.
Solicitor Michael Hemsley, who represents Walker, and Stephen Fox, who represents Madani, said outside the hearing their clients were puzzled by the allegations and strenuously deny the charges.
Ian Moore, prosecuting, told magistrates Walker, 43, of Mountain View Close, Connah's Quay, had faced four holding charges until his appearance when a further 81 charges were laid against him.
The charges relate to deception, charges under the Trade Marks Act and the Trade Descriptions Act. His co-accused Madani, 42, of Grange Road, Bramhall, Stockport, had faced two holding charges but a further 23 were brought against him on his appearance.
The charges relate to offences under the Trade Marks Act and Trade Descriptions Act.
The allegations relate to autographed items like framed photographs and football shirts sold on a website or via eBay.
Mr Moore said the prosecution had also started proceedings against Sporting Icons Ltd and had laid 67 charges against the company.
Mr Moore asked for a lengthy adjournment.
Walker was released on conditional bail and Madani on unconditional bail. The case was adjourned until September 18.