Former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been captured on CCTV "throwing a punch" during a street brawl, despite claiming that he was trying to break the fight up. Gerrard, 35, had told a court he was trying to "defuse the situation" when he and his party of friends fought with hotel owner Paul Lloyd in the upmarket Formby area, near Liverpool, according to the Sun on Sunday.
The CCTV footage seems to show Gerrard throwing a punch at Lloyd while being at the forefront of his crowd of friends, throwing doubts into the LA Galaxy star's claim into question. The footage from another angle allegedly shows Gerrard holding the hotel owner by the throat while pushing him against the wall.
The video was discussed the Crown Prosecution Service, but the quality of the video was so poor that it was not conclusive enough to indicate that Gerrard had actually thrown a punch.
Reports of the footage first emerged when police officer Helen Jones was charged with misconduct in public office after she was accused of obtaining the tape to use to blackmail the footballer. During her court case, Judge Stuart Baker was told Gerrard was trying to calm the situation on the night in question.
Prosecutor Richard Haworth told the court: "Steven Gerrard was celebrating his testimonial match on an evening out in Formby with a group of friends at Woodward's Bar, in Chapel Lane. In the course of the late evening, there was a dispute between Mr Gerrard's group of friends and another group and it moved out onto Chapel Lane.
"Significant for the purposes of this case onto Chapel Lane outside Lloyds Bank, where an altercation was captured on CCTV which showed the involvement of a man called Paul Lloyd. The Crown's case remains that Mr Gerrard was seeking to avoid any involvement or any form of aggression or confrontation, and as far as he was concerned was attempting to defuse the situation."
Lloyd, however, disputed the court's findings. Responding to the footage during the case at the time, Lloyd told the court: "It showed me on my own getting assaulted by 12 people and Steven Gerrard being the aggressor, throwing the first punch."
"All his friends thought it was right to kick and punch me for four minutes," he added.
During Jones' trial Judge Baker dismissed Lloyd's testimony and called him a "liar", describing Lloyd as an "unimpressive witness" who "chose not to tell me the whole truth".
But the footage, which has been obtained by Sun on Sunday footage, casts doubt about the ruling in the case. The police are reviewing the footage before deciding on whether the case should be reopened.
Lloyd reportedly was forced to leave the area in Liverpool after being the victim of a prolonged campaign of abuse because of the incident and the allegations made against Gerrard.