Gerrard trial man tells of 'barrage' of blows

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The man allegedly attacked by England footballer Steven Gerrard during a bar room brawl today relived the incident in court.





Marcus McGee, 34, said he faced a "barrage" of blows after the Liverpool captain asked him "who the f***" he thought he was when refused to hand over control of a CD player.

Mr McGee lost a front tooth crown in the attack in the early hours of December 29 last year, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Mr McGee, who was initially attacked by Gerrard's friend John Doran, said he thought the soccer player struck the first blow.

He said: "I remember a barrage of punches coming in at my face but I didn't know who has done what.

"Having watched the CCTV it was obvious Steven Gerrard hits me a couple of times, maybe three times but I couldn't honestly say on the night.

"I didn't know who did what."





Mr McGee, wearing a smart blue suit and striped tie, said he was in the Lounge Inn with his girlfriend Gina Lond and was asked by the manager to be in charge of the music.

Watching the CCTV footage along with the seven women and five men of the jury, Mr McGee said he threw no punches and was in a "nondescript" mood.

Being led through his evidence by prosecuting barrister David Turner QC, Mr McGee explained what happened before the trouble began.

Reliving the 2am row over the CD player, Mr McGee said the millionaire father-of-two footballer tried to grab a card from his hand which controlled the stereo.

He said: "Mr Gerrard came to me from my left hand side and requested he wanted control of the music.

"It was something to the effect of 'Here you are, lad, give me that'."

"You recognised Steven Gerrard?" asked Mr Turner.

"Of course," said the victim.

"I didn't give it to him, no.

"It wasn't my permission to be giving it out to somebody else, it was my job so I didn't hand it over.

"He made a move to try to grab the card to take it away and I remember it slipped on the floor at one stage.

"He then walked away, that was the end of it."

Gerrard, who was in the club with friends to celebrate Liverpool's 5-1 win over Newcastle Utd, is shown on CCTV walking away before he returned several minutes later.



Gerrard, wearing a blue v-neck jumper, later returned to businessman Mr McGee, who was sitting alone at the bar.

He said the Anfield hero leaned down to speak to him.

"I got up," he said because Gerrard had seconds earlier allegedly asked "Who the f*** do you think you are?"

Mr McGee said: "When someone says something like that to you, well, I felt threatened and vulnerable sitting down and looking up so my instinct was to stand up and talk to him."

Asked if he could recall what was said, he added: "Not really.

"In my statement I didn't recall the conversation but looking at my hand movements I was asking him how he would react if somebody came up to him and wanted to take something off him in a manner I found to be rude.

"I was just asking him what he was talking about but don't recall 100 per cent what the conversation was about.

"I gave my statement in the 100 per cent firm belief it was Steven Gerrard who hit me first.

"I was concentrating primarily on Steven because he was so close to me.

"The next thing I knew there was a bloke at the side of me.

"I gave that statement in good faith but changed it after watching the CCTV."

Mr McGee said he was innocent, saying: "I didn't throw any punches, I wasn't acting aggressively, I didn't hit anyone at all."



Mr McGee told Gerrard's barrister, John Kelsey-Fry, that because the footballer was famous he didn't expect any trouble.

He said: "When I saw him walking over to me, because he's a famous person I didn't think I'm going to have a fight or trouble, so when I saw him walking over I didn't think there was going to be any trouble."

Mr McGee said he was left "reeling" after being elbowed by John Doran and did not initially try to defend himself.

He said he ended up on the floor being kicked - which Gerrard is not accused of taking part in - and eventually stood up to defend himself.

He said the footballer had a bad attitude when they first spoke about the music. Mr McGee said: "His request, his attitude I would describe as bad, it was bad and it was rude, it was bad tempered, so straight away I was acting proportionate to how his attitude was."

He said he found it offensive the footballer had addressed him as "lad", saying: "In the context and the way he was asking it I did on that occasion."



Under cross-examination, Mr McGee said he did not plan to benefit financially from the scrap.

He acknowledged that a solicitor initially acting for him advised him to start a civil claim against Gerrard but he dispensed with the lawyer's services.

Mr Kelsey-Fry said: "On your behalf, did your solicitor speak to Mr Gerrard's, saying that, as far as you were concerned, this had all been a terrible misunderstanding - and you were wondering if there was any way this could be sorted out amicably?"

Mr McGee replied "Definitely not, I never said those words."

The court heard from Mr McGee's partner, Ms Lond, who said she tried to defend her boyfriend and later accompanied him to hospital.

Barman Nathaniel Lockie, 20, who was on duty that night, said Gerrard used his left hand to pull Mr McGee's jumper over his head before launching uppercuts with his right.

He added that he thought John Doran was the No 8's minder "by the way he presented himself".

Doran has admitted affray which stemmed from a later incident with Mr McGee in the bar.

Four others have also pleaded guilty to affray and threatening behaviour.



This afternoon Gerrard's police interviews were read out to the jury.

Gerrard, who spent the night drinking bottles of Budweiser and enjoyed a Jammy Donut shot, said on a drunkenness scale of one to 10 he was about a seven.

But he added it was Mr McGee who was initially arrogant and aggressive to him.

Giving a different version of events from the victim, he recalled the row, saying he was given permission by manageress Sabrina Malik to pick tracks on the stereo.

But Mr McGee refused.

Gerrard was reading a "music menu", he said, when "he (Mr McGee) grabbed my menu off me and said 'You are not f****** deciding what music goes on in here'."

He added: "When he grabbed it I said 'What's your problem, why can't I change it?'

"He basically said to me 'I am not putting your music on.'

"It was quite aggressive, and I said 'What's the f****** problem, why can't I put my music on?

"He said 'Because you f****** can't, you're not allowed.

"I said 'I have permission to do it'."

The defendant said he was upset and "gutted" about what happened and told his friend "some p****" would not let him choose the music.

The player told detectives Mr McGee then proceeded to stare at him through a gap in a partition wall.

The Reds captain said he wanted to sort the problem out - as he had on other occasions when he had been "mithered" - so went back to discuss the problem with Mr McGee.

Saying he thought he was bright and confident enough to deal with Mr McGee, Gerrard said he did not want to be on edge for the rest of the night and wanted to know why he could not pick a song.

"I didn't go over there intentionally to have another argument or start fighting," he said.

"I was having a good night but I was gutted and just wanted to straighten it out with him."

Gerrard said he believed Mr McGee was going to attack him.

"He stood up quite aggressively out of his stool and I thought to myself 'I am not going to be able to sort this out in the way I wanted'."

"I thought he was going to give me a smack," Gerrard added.

"He was shouting back and I didn't know what he was saying but he started arguing and I thought he was going to hit me so that's why I threw a punch."

Gerrard admitted throwing three punches but only one connected, he said.

He added that he was "gutted about what happened and wanted to round my mates up and get out of there".

"I didn't want it to escalate any more."

The interview ended with his solicitor, Richard Green, saying Gerrard was "deeply apologetic" about what happened.

"He understands his obligations and responsibilities and this is completely out of character and out of the blue," he said.

"He is extremely remorseful for what actually happened and certainly there wasn't any intention for events to turn out that way."

Gerrard will go into the witness box tomorrow morning.