'Barrage of blows' described in Gerrard case

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The Independent Online

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."









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