Liverpool, England:Prosecutors told a jury on Tuesday that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard lost his cool in a nightclub and aimed a succession of punches at a man who wouldn't let him take charge of the music.
The England midfielder went on trial at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday on a charge of affray, and the prosecution told the jury Gerrard was one of several men who attacked 34-year-old Marcus McGee, who had refused to hand over control of a CD player.
Hours after Gerrard had scored twice in Liverpool's 5-1 victory over Newcastle, he was with friends at the Lounge Inn in Southport in the early hours of Dec. 29 last year when his party clashed with McGee.
Prosecutor David Turner said Gerrard asked McGee for the card controlling the CD player so he could change the music but the man refused. Turner said Gerrard's mood then changed and he went back and confronted McGee and the two men stood head-to-head "in the sort of hostile confrontation that is often seen between professional footballers."
Turner said Gerrard's friends also joined in and one of them pushed McGee and followed up with his elbow into his face.
"We say at this stage Gerrard totally lost it," Turner said. "Almost immediately after the blow ... in fact within seconds, Steven Gerrard joined in the attack with a succession of well aimed uppercut punches delivered with the style and speed of a professional boxer rather than a professional footballer."
Gerrard denies affray. Five other men pleaded guilty and another admitted a lesser charge of threatening behavior. The trial is expected to last several days.
Before it started, Judge Henry Globe said the jury panel brought in to try the case would have to put aside their football loyalties and give a true verdict according to the evidence.