Oli McBurnie trial: Nottingham Forest fan says Sheffield United star attacked him after 'banter'

Oli McBurnie is on trial at Nottingham Magistrates' Court. Credit: BPM Media

A Nottingham Forest fan alleged to have been stamped on by Sheffield United footballer Oli McBurnie has claimed he was attacked after pitchside "banter".

George Brinkley, 27, told Nottingham Magistrates' Court that he was singled out by McBurnie and assaulted after telling the striker: "You're s*** at football, I'm better than you."

Mr Brinkley said he feared for his life after being put in a headlock by McBurnie's teammate, Rhian Brewster, during a pitch invasion following last season's Championship play-off semi-final on 17 May at Forest's City Ground.

McBurnie, 26, is alleged to have then stamped on Mr Brinkley. He denies the charge, claiming he lost balance after going to the aid of his teammate.

After social media footage alleged to show the assault was played to the court on Wednesday, 14 December, Mr Brinkley said he invaded the pitch because of the "adrenaline" of Forest reaching a Wembley final.

He told the court: "I said 'Oli McBurnie you are s*** at football, I am better than you and I'm not a pro'."

Mr Brinkley said that Scotland international McBurnie laughed in response to the comment and said: "You look like you are".

Mr Brinkley added: "I had a smile on my face. Hopefully because I was joking, it came across in that way.

"It's just a bit of banter, isn't it?"

Later, Mr Brinkley said he ran onto the pitch with other fans before he was put into a headlock on the ground.

He told the court: "Oli McBurnie stamped on me once, stamped on me twice, then went to stamp on me for a third time, but got pulled away.

"My instant reaction was to kick him but I didn't because I knew what the repercussions would be."

The alleged victim said he knew it was McBurnie because he was the only person he had seen wearing a protective boot.

Prosecutors claim the former Swansea City and Barnsley player, who was wearing a protective boot over an injury, had suffered "a loss of temper and control".

During cross-examination by McBurnie's barrister, Lisa Judge, asked Mr Brinkley if McBurnie had said: "Aha, that's the man who said I was a s*** footballer. I am going to stamp on him."

Mr Brinkley answered: "I believe so."

The Forest fan also said that he did not realise it was Brewster who had put him in a headlock until he saw social media footage of the incident.

Prosecutors have now dropped a common assault charge brought against Brewster in July.

The trial continues.

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