A bouncer who was assaulted by Dundee star Paul McGowan claimed the footballer was “out of control” when he attacked him.
McGowan was spared jail after admitting spitting on door steward Andrew MacLaughlan during a rammy after his club’s player of the year awards bash.
The 30-year-old former Celtic midfielder was being thrown out of Dundee’s Underground nightclub in South Tay Street around 2am on Monday May 14 when the attack happened.
The city’s sheriff court heard McGowan was being “ejected due to his aggressive behaviour towards other patrons” when he turned and spat on Mr MacLaughlan.
The bouncer said the player – who has four previous convictions for assault – was “out of control” during the fracas that led to his arrest.
He said: “I didn’t even know that it was him until someone else who saw it happen identified him. I am not a football fan. It is a disgrace – he spat right in my face.
“He was involved in an altercation inside the club and he was asked to leave several times, but refused. For him to be in the position he is and acting like that is a disgrace.”
Despite McGowan’s previous convictions for police assault, assault, breach of the peace and threatening and abusive behaviour, he avoided jail and instead was placed on an electronic tag and ordered to carry out unpaid work in the community and pay his victim £200.
Sheriff John Rafferty told him: “It is by a narrow margin you are avoiding a custodial sentence.”
McGowan, who arrived 29 minutes late for his appearance, sat with club chairman John Nelms as he waited for his case to be called.
McGowan, of Kelvin Drive, Airdrie, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to a charge of assaulting Mr MacLaughlan by spitting on him.
His solicitor Elaine Rae said the father-of-one claimed he had been punched moments before the spitting attack.
A spokesman for the club said: “Dundee FC can confirm Paul McGowan has been handed a limited liberty restriction order and a community payback order in court.
“The club does not condone the behaviour which has led to this and we respect the decision made by the court.
“We will support Paul through this process.”