Newcastle striker fined over drunken attack

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The reputation of Britain's leading footballers was further tarnished yesterday when Craig Bellamy, the Wales and Newcastle striker, was fined for abusing door staff in a drunken row at a Cardiff nightclub.

Bellamy, 24, was fined £750 and offered an apology of sorts through his solicitors after admitting the offence but claiming he had been "severely provoked".

The footballer had been "fuelled by drink" when he tried to get into the Jumpin' Jaks nightclub on 24 March, Cardiff magistrates' court heard. Door staff told him it was too late to get in but Bellamy tried to push past them. Bellamy was shoved down the stairs leading to the club but continued yelling at staff and others who had gathered outside the club. Bellamy left in a taxi when the police arrived but later voluntarily turned up at a police station to be interviewed.

At the hearing yesterday, Bellamy admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour but the more serious charge that the abusive act was racially aggravated was withdrawn.

Deputy district judge Anthony Smith-Jones told Bellamy: "You are a role model. People do look up to you and, in this, you have let yourself down."