'Drunk' admits Sir Alex assault

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The Independent Online

A "fighting drunk" today admitted punching Sir Alex Ferguson in the groin and head butting a police community support officer.

Forty-three-year-old Kevin Reynolds pleaded guilty to assaulting the Manchester United manager outside a train station before attacking the officer and racially abusing him.

Reynolds appeared at City of London Magistrates Court and was warned he could be jailed when he is sentenced at a later date at London's Southwark Crown Court.

The attack took place on Monday shortly after 4pm when Sir Alex was waiting for his driver outside Euston Station in central London.

Reynolds, originally from Fife but now of no fixed abode, approached Sir Alex, who initially thought that the man staggering towards him was a beggar asking for money, the court heard.

Instead Reynolds struck Sir Alex in the groin area, leaving him doubled up in pain.

The court was told today that Reynolds then said: "I'm sorry Fergie. I did not know it was you."

He then chanted: "Fergie, Fergie, shut your mouth" - a football shout common in Scotland.

A police support officer arrived at the scene at which point Sir Alex pointed out his aggressor.

Whilst trying to restrain Reynolds, PCSO Peace Toluwa was head butted in the face, causing a cut to his upper lip.

He was then subjected to a number of racial slurs by Reynolds.

The drunk, who had consumed half a bottle of vodka and a number of strong lagers prior to the assault, called PCSO Toluwa "monkey lips" and "black bastard".

Sir Alex was said to be left stunned by the attack and suffered soreness and tenderness as a result of the punch. He did not need further treatment.

In court today Reynolds pleaded guilty to two counts of racially-aggravated public order, one common assault and one count of actual bodily harm.

Reynolds' defence counsel, Adeola Olowu, said her client at first thought it was merely someone who looked like Sir Alex and not actually the renowned football manager himself.

She added that her client said he was joking around and that he struck Sir Alex whilst shadow boxing.

Sitting magistrate Daphne Wickham said: "I do not think Sir Alex Ferguson saw this as a joke."

She said Reynolds was "a fighting drunk", adding that her powers of sentence, which allow for six months' imprisonment, were insufficient.

She committed the case to Southwark Crown Court at a future date and remanded Reynolds in custody.