herald

Friday 24 November 2017

Golf club erupts into 'scene from Sopranos' in soccer bets bust-up

ONE of Dublin's oldest and most respected golf clubs has been cast in a very poor light after a Sopranos-style row over a football bet.

A judge has described a bloody bathroom brawl as "like a scene from the Sopranos" after a row over a bet on a Manchester United went wrong.

There was blood on the toilet walls, the wash-hand basin, the floor, the ceiling and the doors after a friendly Wednesday evening fourball had turned sour.

"It was like a scene from the Sopranos," Judge Joseph Matthews said when initially playful banter between Man United fans and rival supporters turned into all-out war at Lucan Golf Club in March 2003.

Barrister Louis McEntagart told the Circuit Civil Court that Leeds supporter Alan Holmes claimed he had been head-butted in the toilets by fellow member Martin Curtis following a dispute about a €100 bet against Manchester United.

With no witnesses to the brawl, the judge said that the trial would boil down to one man's word against the other.

Both men claim to have been riled by the other before the incident took place.

Mr Holmes, a paint supplier, of Rathdown Drive, Terenure, Dublin, said that in March 2003 about 40 members had settled down in front of the television in the bar to watch Man United play Burnley.

Interrupted

The dispute started when Mr Holmes began taking €5 bets on the match from his fourball and Mr Curtis interrupted and waved two €50 notes and asked him whether he wanted to cover a €100 bet against United.

Mr Curtis, from Prosperous, Co Kildare, then knelt down beside Mr Holmes and said: "I'm going to f**king do you outside."

He had shrugged off the remark and shortly after half time had gone to the toilet where he had seen Mr Curtis. He said he was washing his hands when Mr Curtis head-butted him in the nose.

He also received injuries to his jaw, chest and groin but could not remember getting them. He did not know if he had been knocked unconscious.

The court heard there had been no witnesses to the incident in the toilet and each member had sued the other for €38,000 damages for assault. The incident had split the club.

Judge Matthews said that the case would come down to one man's word against the other.

The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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