Six co-defendants of England footballer Steven Gerrard have admitted their involvement in a bar-room brawl.
Now, Gerrard, 29, faces trial alone at Liverpool Crown Court for a charge of affray in which businessman Marcus McGee was injured in the Lounge Inn, in Southport, in the early hours of December 29 last year.
Five of the defendants admitted affray, and one admitted a lesser charge of section 4 threatening behaviour. John McGrattan, 34, of Rimmer Avenue, Huyton, admitted threatening behaviour after denying affray.
Those who admitted affray were: Ian Gerrard Smith, 19, of Hilary Avenue; John Doran, 29, of Woodlands Road; and Paul McGrattan, 31, of Linden Drive, all in Huyton.
Accrington Stanley footballers Robert Grant, 19, of Enstsone Avenue, Litherland, and Ian Dunbavin, 28, of Guildford Road, Southport, also admitted affray.
A 20-strong jury panel was ushered into courtroom 4:1 this morning to be asked a series of questions about the case.
As well as facing standard questions about their employment and knowing witnesses, Judge Henry Globe QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, pressed potential jurors about footballing loyalty.
Reading a question given to them, he said: "The jury oath or affirmation requires a jury to faithfully try the defendant and give a true verdict according to the evidence. Do you confirm that you would be able to put aside any football loyalty or partiality and to take and abide by the strict terms of the oath or affirmation?''
The hearing adjourned for the panel to answer the questions.