Man pleads not guilty to assaulting Rangers’ Gary McAllister

Damien Swan allegedly punched the former Scotland captain in the face, causing his teeth to go through his lip, magistrates in Leeds heard.

Gary McAllister
Gary McAllister

Former Scotland captain and Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister was allegedly punched in the face, causing his teeth to go through his lip, a court has heard.

Bermudian national Damien Swan, 33, made a brief appearance at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, where he indicated a not guilty plea to assaulting Mr McAllister, 55, on March 24 last year.

Sending the case to Leeds Crown Court, District Judge Richard Kitson said the case involved a “nasty injury”.

“This was an alleged punch to the face, causing Mr McAllister’s teeth to go through his lip, and there was damage to the teeth as well.”

Swan, wearing black jeans and a checked shirt, only spoke to confirm his name and give his date of birth, address and nationality.

The clerk asked him if he wished to indicate a plea at this stage to the offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and Swan replied: “Not guilty.”

Celtic v Rangers – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
Gary McAllister took up the role of assistant manager at Rangers last year (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The defendant, of Greenmount Terrace, Beeston, Leeds, was bailed until his next appearance at Leeds Crown Court on February 12.

Mr McAllister, a former midfielder, was treated in hospital following the incident in Call Lane in the city centre at around 4am on Sunday March 24.

He was reportedly waiting for a taxi with his wife, Hayley, when the assault took place.

Mr McAllister played in Leeds from 1990 to 1996, a period which saw the club become champions of the former First Division in 1992.

He captained the team for two seasons before moving to Coventry City.

He joined the management team at Coventry in 2002, after a period playing for Liverpool, and took up the post of assistant manager at Rangers last year.

Mr McAllister earned 57 caps for Scotland and captained the team to the Euro 96 finals.

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