Beeston man pleads not guilty to punching Leeds United legend Gary McAllister 'so hard his teeth went through his lip'

A man accused of punching football legend Gary McAllister so hard his teeth went through his lip has pleaded not guilty to causing actual bodily harm.
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Damien Swan, 33, allegedly assaulted the former Leeds United star as he waited for a taxi on Call Lane with his wife in the early hours of March 24 last year.

McAllister, a former Scotland captain, needed hospital treatment after the attack in Leeds city centre, where he had spent the evening with his wife Hayley.

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He had spent the previous day at Anfield watching a Liverpool Legends match, including current Rangers boss and his former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard.

Gary McAllister (Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)Gary McAllister (Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)
Gary McAllister (Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

Swan, who appeared in court in jeans, a white shirt and jacket, spoke only to confirm his name, age, nationality and to plead not guilty.

He sat with his arms folded in the dock as the clerk read out the charge during a ten minute plea and trial preparation hearing at Leeds Crown Court.

Swan, of Greenmount Terrace, Beeston, Leeds, will appear before the court on January 4 next year for a two day trial.

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Judge Guy Kearl QC, the Recorder of Leeds, said: "Your trial will take place on January 4 next year.

"Your bail will continue until that date on the condition you remain in contact with your solicitors.

"You must appear for your trial. If you fail to attend, that would be a separate criminal offence."

McAllister, 55, is widely regarded as one of the finest midfielders of his generation.

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He won the league with Leeds United in 1992 and was part of Liverpool's treble winning side of 2001, bagging the FA Cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Cup.

McAllister also won 57 caps with Scotland, captaining his country at Euro 96, and scored five times.

He also played at Motherwell, Leicester City and had two spells at Coventry City in a career that lasted more than two decades.

He was not present in court during the brief hearing.