‘Gerrard fought like a boxer’

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard lashed out at a man “with the style and speed of a professional boxer” after losing his cool in a bar brawl, a court heard on Tuesday.

The England midfielder is accused of being part of a group that injured businessman Marcus McGee at the Lounge Inn nightclub in Southport near Liverpool in December last year. Gerrard was celebrating Liverpool’s 5-1 win at Newcastle at the time. He denies the charge of affray. An initial charge of assault was dropped at a court hearing in March.

The row erupted after Gerrard asked McGee for a card controlling the CD player, saying: “Give me that, lad,” the court heard. “Mr McGee took offence at his attitude and the expression ‘lad’ and he refused. Gerrard was left fuming, and six minutes later came back over to McGee, squaring up to him,” and asked him: “Who do you think you are?” Gerrard’s friends came over to help, and one of them, John Doran, pushed McGee away and “could not resist following through with his right elbow into Mr McGee’s face”, said prosecutor David Turner.

“We say at this stage Gerrard totally lost it. Within seconds, he joined in the attack with a succession of well aimed uppercut punches delivered with the style and speed of a professional boxer.” Turner said the key question was whether Gerrard was acting in self-defence.

Gerrard is facing trial alone, after five co-defendants admitted affray, and one admitted a lesser charge of threatening behaviour.