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Celtic star Lennon 'assaulted over insults'

Sam Reeves,Pa
Wednesday 14 January 2009 14:57 GMT

Former Celtic captain Neil Lennon was subjected to a violent assault after getting into an argument with two men who apparently insulted his team's performance, a court heard today.

Lennon, 37, a coach at the Glasgow club, was punched to the ground and then repeatedly kicked as he lay unconscious, a witness told the High Court in Glasgow.

The attack in the west end of the city came to an end only when a bar worker intervened, the court heard.

David Whitelaw, 47, and Jeffrey Carrigan, 43, deny carrying out the assault in the early hours of September 1.

Liam Cameron, 24, a bar worker, said the men apparently mocked the coach about his side's defeat that day to Old Firm rivals Rangers and insulted his ginger hair colour.

He told the court he believed the men addressed Mr Lennon, who was not in court today, first and that something was said about the football score.

"Neil Lennon's reaction was the finger."

The men also called Mr Lennon a "ginger c***", Mr Cameron added.

"Mr Lennon then said 'What did you call me?'," according to the bar worker.

After raising his middle finger at the pair, Mr Lennon followed them round a corner during the incident in a bar area.

Mr Cameron, who was smoking a cigarette outside after finishing work in nearby bar Jinty McGinty's, heard raised voices and went to see what was happening. He found Mr Lennon "face-to-face" with one of the men.

The men involved in the attack were referred to as number one and number two in court.

Mr Cameron said: "As I walked round, I seen an argument between number one and Mr Lennon, and number two punched Mr Lennon on the side of the head.

"Neil Lennon went down backwards, his shoe came off. He hit his head on the cobbles when he went down."

This left him "completely, completely unconscious", the bar worker said.

He added: "He was kicked in the head a few times, I am not sure exactly how many times, more than three."

The bar worker said the attack came to an end when he intervened, pushing one of the men away from Mr Lennon as he lay passed out in the street.

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