David Moyes 'assault': Former Manchester United manager quizzed over wine bar 'incident'
Police confirm an incident took place at the Emporium wine bar in Clitheroe
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Thursday 22 May 2014
For an ex-Premier League manager pondering where everything went wrong, it had been an opportunity to put the world to rights with a quiet night out in the bright lights of Clitheroe. Unfortunately for David Moyes, it did not quite end that way.
Lancashire Police said it was investigating an allegation of an assault by the former Manchester United manager after an altercation with a 23-year-old man outside a wine bar in the mill town on Wednesday night.
Moyes, 51, who has suffered a torrid month after his anointment as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson ended in dismissal after a disastrous debut season, had dined in an Italian restaurant in the shadow of Clitheroe’s Norman castle before adjourning to the Emporium bar, which bills itself as offering a “unique, intoxicating lifestyle experience”.
What happened next is now the subject of a police inquiry after the former Old Trafford coach, who was criticised by fans for fielding teams without attacking flair, was allegedly involved in a scuffle on the street following remarks criticising his managerial record.
A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “Officers attended the bar at about 10pm yesterday and it was reported that a 23-year-old local man had been assaulted by a 51-year old man. He did not require hospital treatment.
“Inquiries are ongoing and we are speaking to a number of people to try to establish the circumstances.
“There are a number of differing accounts which we need to work through to try to establish exactly what has happened. No one has been arrested at this stage.”
Police are now likely to want to interview Moyes about claims that the alleged incident happened after a local man made unflattering comments about the amount of silverware won by the manager during his career with Preston North End, Everton and Manchester United.
Witnesses said that, during the claimed altercation, glasses fell to the ground and the 23-year-old suffered a bruised shoulder.
The famously plain-speaking manager is understood to have been dining with friends including the managing director of Blackburn Rovers, Derek Shaw, who was a member of the board at Preston North End while Moyes managed the side.
The group had enjoyed a meal at Piccolinos before then crossing to the Emporium, billed as “half coffee shop, wine bar and brasserie; half interior design superstore”, where drinkers standing outside noticed the footballing celebrity and, it is claimed, at least one began to make expletive-laden remarks.
A spokesman for the Emporium, which is housed in a former Methodist chapel, said: “There was an incident outside the building. However, it did not affect any of our customers or staff and has been dealt with by the police.”
Moyes, who was last month seen on holiday in Florida with his wife Pamela following his parting of ways with Manchester United, is among several names linked with the managerial position at Scottish champions Celtic vacated by Neil Lennon.
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