The jury at Liverpool Crown Court found Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard not guilty of affray on Thursday. The court accepted Gerrard's explanation that he acted in self-defense when he punched businessman Marcus McGee at the Lounge Inn bar on Dec. 29 in a dispute over music.
Gerrard admitted throwing three punches but said only one connected. He said he only
swung at McGee because he thought he was about to be attacked himself. The court agreed. "The verdict is a credible verdict on the full facts of this case," judge Henry Globe told
Gerrard. "You walk away from this court with your reputation intact." Globe suggested that Gerrard did not start the violence. "What at first sight to the casual observer may seem
to have been a clear-cut case against you of unlawful violence, has been nowhere near as clear-cut upon careful analysis of the evidence," Globe said.
Pleased with the decision, the
29-year-old Gerrard says he wants to focus on Liverpool winning the league title: "I'm glad to put this case behind me and I am really looking forward to the season ahead and concentrating on
my football now. I would just like to say a big thank you to my legal team and to my friends and family and everyone at Liverpool Football Club for supporting me."