Jury told of footballer's 'bottle job' on bouncer

A professional footballer tipped as a future England star hit a bouncer in the face with a glass bottle during a drunken brawl outside a nightclub, a court was told yesterday.

John Terry, 21, who plays for the Premiership side Chelsea, is alleged to have left a man temporarily blinded in one eye during a fight with door staff. The court was told the fight was joined by Mr Terry's team-mate Jody Morris, 23, and Des Byrne, 22, a defender with Wimbledon, after the trio were ejected from the members-only Wellington Club in Knightsbridge, central London.

Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court was told the three players refused to leave the venue in the early hours of January 4 this year, abusing staff in the basement bar before turning on door staff.

Security camera footage played to the jury appeared to show the players, led by Mr Morris, arguing with three doormen before Mr Terry allegedly shouted to one of the bouncers, Trevor Thirlwall: "He won't come outside. He's a bottle job; he knows what he's going to get."

As the argument spilt on to the pavement, Mr Terry, a defender in the England Under-21 side who had been tipped to join the World Cup squad, allegedly fell with Mr Thirlwall, 28, from Bermondsey, south-east London, into a pile of rubbish.

Jeremy Donne, for the prosecution, told the court the bouncer was then set upon by Mr Morris before Mr Terry allegedly swung a punch at him.

Mr Donne said: "Trevor Thirlwall immediately felt what he described as an explosion of pain in his eye followed by the loss of vision in it.

"What he had not seen, but others had, was that John Terry had a bottle in the hand with which he struck him.

"Miraculously, the bottle did not break on impact; it is terrifying to think what could have happened if it had."

The court was told the bouncer suffered deep cuts around his left eye, which required hospital treatment. A forensic pathologist concluded the injuries were caused by a bottle, Mr Donne said.

Mr Terry denies inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Thirlwall, and charges of wounding the bouncer and carrying a bottle as an offensive weapon. The men deny a joint charge of affray. Mr Byrne, who was allegedly spotted carrying a bottle during the fight, denies carrying an offensive weapon.

The players had been drinking spirit-based drinks at the nightclub, which is popular with celebrities, for several hours before trouble broke out.

Sasha Keegan, the bar's manager, told the court that she had asked the men to moderate their behaviour. She claimed Mr Morris became confrontational, telling Ms Keegan to "f*** off".

Staff then asked the group to leave, and Mr Morris allegedly said to Mr Thirlwall: "Do you know how much I earn? I earn more in one day than you earn in a week. Do you know who we are? We could get you sacked."

Mr Donne told the court that the men had lied about the ensuing "disgraceful and unlawful" fight, even when presented with video evidence by the police.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there