An Elvis impersonator has told police that former Sunderland striker Anthony Stokes left him with a bust nose and three broken teeth.
Tribute act Anthony Bradley, 49, says he was attacked “out of nowhere” in a Dublin nightclub by a man who other clubgoers later told him was 24-year-old Stokes.
Police in the Irish capital last night said they were treating the attack as “vicious and unprovoked” and confirmed that Stokes is the alleged attacker.
Anthony has been discharged from hospital after having his nose reset and is now recovering at home.
He has given a full statement to police about the incident in the VIP area of Buck Whaley’s club.
He said: “I’m as well as can be expected. I had to go for surgery to correct my nose. It was an unprovoked attack. I’m still in shock.
“It came from nowhere. This guy wasn’t even involved and he stepped in out of nowhere and decided to involve himself.”
He said he only found out who his alleged assailant was when other witnesses identified him.
He added: “I didn’t even know him because I am not a football fan.”
Anthony added: “I was gigging first and then I went to see a band I know who gig in Buck Whaley’s. We decided to go down to the VIP and that’s when that incident occurred.
“I’m still in shock. It doesn’t make sense at all.”
Stokes, who was ejected from the club after the incident, was in his home city with partner Debbie and their son Bobby.
It’s understood he has now gone to the Caribbean on holiday.
A nightclub spokesman said: “A drink was spilled on Anthony Bradley’s coat.
“Words were exchanged between two groups. There was some altercation. The bouncers were straight in, separated them and turfed Stokes out.”
A Celtic spokesman said: “We believe the police are carrying out an investigation. We would, therefore, not be able to make any comment at this stage.
“However, when that investigation is complete, we will conduct our own inquiry into the matter.”
Sources close to Stokes have confirmed there was a bust-up in the nightclub but deny Stokes was the aggressor.
Stokes began his senior career with Arsenal, but established himself with a successful loan spell with Falkirk in 2006, scoring 14 goals in 16 SPL games.
Stokes then signed for Sunderland in a £2 million deal, but he struggled to hold down a place in the Sunderland first team.
He moved back to Scottish football when Hibernian signed him for £500,000 in August 2009. He again enjoyed success in the SPL, scoring over 20 goals in his only full season with Hibs.
Stokes moved to boyhood heroes Celtic shortly after the start of the following season, for a fee of around £1.2 million.