Gerrard in dock over nightclub brawl


LIVERPOOL, July 21 – England and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard appeared in court here on Monday ahead of his trial on charges of being involved in a nightclub brawl.STEVEN_GERRARDThe 29-year-old Liverpool captain is accused of being part of a group that injured businessman Marcus McGee, 34, at the Lounge Inn nightclub in Southport near Liverpool, northwest England, in December last year.

Gerrard was celebrating Liverpool’s 5-1 defeat of Newcastle United at the time. He denies the charge of affray. An initial charge of assault was dropped at a court hearing in March.

The midfielder appeared in the dock alongside his six co-accused at Liverpool Crown Court wearing a dark grey suit and black suede shoes, as jurors waited to be called in for the start of the trial.

However, there were a number of procedural delays and the case was eventually adjourned until 10.30am (0930 GMT) on Tuesday.

Gerrard’s absence from the Liverpool squad has put helped put a dampener on the club’s current much-hyped Asian swing.

His British court date was set before the trip to Asia was announced although Gerrard featured in promotional adverts aired on television in the region.

Liverpool matches against Thailand on Wednesday and Singapore four days later were heavily promoted with both games likely to play in front of sell-out crowds.

But loyal Asian fans of the Premier League runners-up will be disappointed that Gerrard did not make the trip while Spanish stars Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso, a transfer target of big spenders Real Madrid, are unlikely to play much part in the games.