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Liverpool's Steven Gerrard denies nightclub attack
Published : 03 Apr 2009 12:40:46
The Liverpool captain formally pleaded not guilty to affray when he appeared at Liverpool Crown Court. Gerrard, 28, was accused of being part of a group that allegedly injured businessman Marcus McGee, 34, at the Lounge Inn, Southport, in the early hours of Dec 29 last year. Related ArticlesGerrard agrees new dealBenitez: I almost quit Liverpool'Liverpool best in Europe'Benitez faces anxious international waitLiverpool look to futureEto'o linked with Liverpool moveHis appearance came on the day he signed a two-year contract extension which will keep him at Anfield until 2013. Asked how he pleaded, the father of two, dressed smartly in a single-breasted dark blue suit, said in a loud voice: "Not guilty." He appeared alongside six other men who also denied affray - a charge stemming from a melee after Gerrard celebrated Liverpool's 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle. Today, the Recorder of Liverpool Henry Globe QC adjourned the trial to July 20. Because of Gerrard's standing as Liverpool captain, there had been discussion in legal circles about whether the trial would be moved to another city. But Judge Globe, saying careful consideration would be given to jury members' interests, kept the case in Liverpool. He checked with prosecuting barrister Brian Cummings QC and the rest of counsel today whether his own interest in football - and visits to Anfield - had any bearing on him presiding over the trial. He said: "I want to make it quite plain, my own position, I want it to be clearly understood. "I am not a season ticket-holder, nor regular attender at Anfield, but it would be right to say I have been a visitor at Anfield as a guest on occasions. "I have a general interest in football and watched many football matches, though not live, with many different clubs, not just Liverpool." The assembled barristers agreed that was fine. The seven defendants were given bail with conditions not to contact witnesses nor to enter the Lounge Inn unless with a legal representative.