Glasgow & West Scotland

David Goodwillie pleads guilty to assault in Glasgow

David Goodwillie
Image caption David Goodwillie admitted the assault in Glasgow in November 2010

Scotland and Blackburn striker David Goodwillie has pleaded guilty to assaulting a man in Glasgow.

The 23-year-old forward admitted attacking John Friel in the city's Queen Street on 3 November 2010.

Goodwillie repeatedly punched Friel on the head and body and kicked him on the body during the incident.

He pleaded guilty during an appearance at Glasgow Sheriff Court. Sentence on the footballer was deferred until later this month for reports.

The court heard that Goodwillie had been at a takeaway shop in Queen Street at 04:00 when a disagreement broke out between his friends and another group of men.

Medical condition

His former Dundee United team mate Danny Swanson was knocked unconscious by Friel - an attack Goodwillie's defence QC Donald Findlay described as "cowardly" and "brutal".

CCTV footage of the incident showed Goodwillie confronting Friel and punching him on the head and body.

The court was told that Mr Swanson suffered from a medical condition.

As he lay on the pavement after being attacked by Friel, he had difficulty breathing and there was concern that his life may be in danger.

Mr Findlay said that at no time did Friel show any remorse and that Goodwillie was acting "purely out of concern for his friend".

'Catastrophic effect'

The footballer has one previous conviction for assault, but the court heard that his "whole world had changed" since he moved to Blackburn Rovers.

Mr Findlay told the court that a custodial sentence would have "a catastrophic effect" on his client.

The striker was told to expect a community service order when he is sentenced at the end of April.

Goodwillie made his competitive debut in December 2005 with Dundee United, appearing as a late substitute in the defeat over Rangers at Ibrox.

He has represented Scotland at all international youth levels and received his first call-up for the senior team in November last year.

The striker signed a four-year deal last August with Blackburn Rovers.

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