England footballer Steven Gerrard was cleared of a nightclub assault by a jury in his home city yesterday despite admitting he repeatedly punched a man in a drunken row over music. CCTV footage clearly showed that the only punches thrown during the incident came from Gerrard who admitted to being 70% drunk at the time.
The jury took just over an hour to acquit the Liverpool captain of affray on the grounds that he acted in self-defence, even though he accepted that businessman Marcus McGee had not threatened to attack him.
The judge told the £5million-a-year player that while he had been 'unwise' to pursue the 'trivial' dispute over what songs were played during a night out, he left the dock with his reputation intact.
He may have escaped a jail sentence but he won’t escape the ire of opposing fans. Hours after his acquittal, Steven Gerrard scored for a Liverpool XI in a friendly against the Wirral clubTranmere Rovers.
However, the goal did little to quell the booing Gerrard received whenever he touched the ball, however, a depressing precursor of what no doubt is to come from opposing fans this season.The term "unwise" by the judge may be ringing in Gerrard's ears for some time to come.