DRUNKEN rocker Richard Ashcroft made a fool of himself after singing his own songs to coppers who admitted they didn't have a clue who he was.

The Verve frontman humiliated himself in the back of a police car after he was arrested for disorderly behaviour in Chippenham on Monday.

Ashcroft, famous for 90s hits including The Drugs Don't Work, is thought to have been staying with his in-laws at their home on Bath Road. The father-of-two is a familiar face in the town and is often recognised driving his Mercedes 4x4 around Chippenham.

Inspector Neil Bagnall, of Chippenham Police, confessed he'd never heard of the star and neither had the arresting officer, Sergeant Martin Alvis.

"He resorted to singing his songs in the back of the police car on the way to the station," said Insp Bagnall.

In a bizarre series of events Ashcroft, 35, burst into The Bridge Centre, close to the Ivy House mansion where he was staying, at around 8pm on Monday.

He announced to a shocked group of around 60 youngsters that he was Richard Ashcroft from the band The Verve and that he wanted to give them £10,000.

But when he began shouting and swearing and refused to leave, concerned staff dialled 999, reporting a man claiming to be a rock star.

Eventually the unkempt star, who was said to have been drunk and resembling a tramp, was arrested by Sgt Alvis.

After a couple of hours in the cells at Melksham, he was released with an £80 fine for disorderly behaviour.

One witness described the ordeal as surreal, and said Ashcroft was unshaven with filthy clothes and saliva caked around his mouth.

The insider said: "He was off his head, although he wasn't slurring his words. One of the staff said You're the spitting image of Richard Ashcroft' and he said That's because I am.' "He kept swearing and saying I'm Richard, I'm going to be doing some youth work here. You'll be seeing a lot more of me'."

A spokesman for Wiltshire County Council, which runs The Bridge Centre, said: "In this instance a man walked into the youth centre in Chippenham unannounced offering to help.

"Our staff were unsure of who he was and were uncomfortable with some of his behaviour.

"As a result the manager called the area team leader to seek advice and was advised to call the police."