Bolton star Zat Knight’s pal denies glassing Manchester club owner in Premier League footballers’ brawl

By Dean Wilkins

A pal of Bolton Wanderers defender Zat Knight has denied glassing a Manchester bar owner during a violent brawl of Premier League footballers.

Winston Wilson, 38, of Hever Avenue, Birmingham, is on trial for leaving the owner of popular nightclub Panacea needing plastic surgery after he was slashed with a broken glass.

Joe Akka was defusing a situation that involved QPR winger Shaun Wright-Phillips in the early hours of November 14 as a group of top-flight footballers watched David Haye’s bout with Audley Harrison in Manchester.

Manchester Crown Court heard how Wright-Phillips was slapped across the face by an unknown woman and the situation quickly escalated into a scrap that needed security staff to try and tame the situation.

And Wilson, who was not involved in the start of the brawl, only went over as a ‘peacemaker’ he told the court.

“I went to assist a friend of mine,” Wilson told the jury. “My intention was to get Zat out of this melee.”

Prosecuting lawyer Bernadette Baxter accused the defendant of glassing Mr Akka in the trouble before suggesting that Mr Knight had attempted to remove Wilson from the chaos.

“You had attacked Mr Akka. Caused him that injury,” Ms Baxter said.

“That is not correct, no,” Wilson replied.

Sunit Sandhu, defending, asked Wilson how he got the cut to his left hand.

Mr Wilson said his left hand was scratched when he was bundled out of the bar by bouncers as police arrived at the scene.

Wilson had denied wounding with intent and another charge of wounding.

The trial is set to continue today.

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