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SPL ACE KO'D IN BRAWL; Thug attacked Danny.

Byline: Craig McDonald

AN SPL star was knocked out during a brawl in Glasgow city centre, a court heard yesterday.

Dundee United's Danny Swanson was left unconscious for five minutes after he was punched by John Friel outside a Japanese restaurant during a night out with teammates.

Friel, 23, and Matthew Flynn, 22, a former United youth player, then attacked passer-by John Stuart, who stopped to help midfielder Swanson.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that Flynn also headbutted United fullback Barry Douglas in the scuffle which ensued.

Trouble flared after Douglas and Swanson met up with teammate Scott Allan and Flynn for a night out on November 3. At 3am, the group left Karbon nightclub and went to Japanese restaurant Oko Express on Glasgow's Queen Street.

Friel, who the United players did not know, was also in the restaurant.

The court heard Friel put his hand over a mobile phone as Swanson tried to take a picture of Douglas and another customer.

Friel followed the players out of the restaurant after finishing their food.

Bernard Ablett, prosecuting, said that 19 seconds after leaving, Flynn headbutted Douglas and pushed him on to a parked car.

Friel then approached Swanson, who was distracted by the fullscale bust-up going on. Mr Ablett said: "Friel punched Swanson on the side of his head and Swanson fell to the pavement motionless for just under five minutes."

Stuart was walking past and went to help Swanson.

Stuart pushed Flynn after exchanging words before Flynn punched him to the ground.

Friel joined in, kicking Stuart on the head as he lay on the ground.

Swanson suffered swelling and bruising. Stuart's face was swollen and scraped and he was left with a broken nose which was reset.

Friel, of Rutherglen, Glasgow, admitted assaulting Swanson and Stuart. Flynn, of Cardonald, Glasgow, confessed to assaulting Douglas and Stuart. Sentence was deferred.

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HEADBUTTED: Douglas PUNCHED: Danny Swanson in action for Dundee United
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 7, 2011
Words:322
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