West Ham defender Anton Ferdinand has been cleared of any wrongdoing after admitting punching a man he believed was planning to mug him.
The former England Under-21 player admitted striking the first blow after the 22-year-old first 'eyeballed' his £64,000 watch then threatened a friend.
London's Snaresbrook Crown Court heard no sooner had he been dragged away than up to 10 other men punched the 'would-be robber' to the ground and kicked him repeatedly.
The five-woman, seven-man jury trying the player, also 22, of Grove Park Road, Mottingham, south-east London, took just over one-and-a-half hours to accept he was acting in self-defence.
They unanimously cleared him of assault occasioning actual bodily harm outside Faces nightclub in Ilford, east London, on October 2 last year, affray, and alternative common assault and public order offences.