Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 18:05 UK

Gerrard 'admitted three punches'

Steven Gerrard arriving at Liverpool Crown Court
Mr Gerrard was celebrating Liverpool's 5-1 win over Newcastle

Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard admitted throwing three punches during a row over music in a club, but said only one connected, a court has heard.

Police interviews with the player after the row were read out to a jury at Liverpool Crown Court.

The England midfielder told police he had been drinking but he said it was another man, Marcus McGee, who was initially arrogant and aggressive.

The footballer, who denies affray, told police he hit out in self-defence.

Mr Gerrard was in the Lounge Inn in Southport with friends in the early hours of 29 December last year to celebrate Liverpool's 5-1 win over Newcastle United.

In the police interviews the Liverpool captain said he had been drinking lager and enjoyed a "Jammy Donut shot" and said on a drunkenness scale of one to 10 he was about a seven.

Giving a different version of events from Mr McGee, he recalled the row, saying he was given permission by the bar's manageress to pick tracks on the stereo, but said Mr McGee would not let him.

Lounge Inn, Southport
Mr Gerrard was with a group of friends at the Lounge Inn

The court heard Mr Gerrard 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 him.

The footballer 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'," he told police.

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

Mr Gerrard admitted throwing three punches but told the police only one connected.

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

Marcus McGee
Mr McGee lost a crown in a front tooth in the alleged attack

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

John Doran, 29, of Woodlands Road, Ian Gerrard Smith, 19, of Hilary Avenue, and Paul McGrattan, 31, of Linden Drive, all Huyton, have all admitted affray.

Accrington Stanley footballers Robert Grant, 19, of Enstone Avenue, Litherland, and Ian Dunbavin, 28, of Guildford Road, Southport, have also admitted affray.

John McGrattan, 34, of Rimmer Avenue, Huyton, has admitted threatening behaviour after denying affray.

Mr Gerrard is expected to give evidence on Thursday morning.


CCTV showed the fight at the bar

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