An ex-Luton Town player has pleaded guilty to assaulting two barmaids during an ‘alcohol fuelled’ brawl at the club’s end of season awards ceremony.
During the incident at Luton Rugby Club, Danny Fitzsimons, 23, threw a glass at the back of a worker’s head and caught another with a punch intended for a different member of staff.
The attacks occurred at the Hatters’ end of season celebration on April 26 – the same night former striker Ricky Miller allegedly headbutted a taxi driver in a racially motivated attack.
The following week Fitzsimons, Miller and a third player were suspended
from the club.
Appearing at Luton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, Fitzsimons admitted two counts of assault.
The court heard that at the club ceremony the 23-year-old had several drinks and was seen waving a microphone around after joining a band on stage.
After being asked to get down, the ‘dishevelled’ Fitzsimons was seen ‘staggering’ away from the stage.
The court heard that later on the footballer put his arms around a barmaid and ‘tried to kiss her’.
Sophia Malik, prosecuting, said that after brushing off his advances the barmaid ‘could see something developing’ between Fitzsimons and a male member of staff who refused to serve the 23-year-old.
The court heard that Fitzsimons flicked his drink at the barman, shouted “Come on, come on” and threw his glass in the direction of the worker.
However he missed, and the glass hit a different barmaid in the back of the head.
Ms Malik said that after the glass was thrown the victim ‘felt immediate pain’ and turned to hear Fitzsimons shouting “Come on outside, do you want it?”.
In an attempt to attack the barman Fitzsimons threw a number of punches and mistakenly caught a barmaid on the cheek, the court heard.
The 23-year-old was ejected from the event and initially denied responsibilty for the attack during a police interview.
Fitzsimons said that he ‘felt threatened’ by the barman and denied making verbal threats.
After being released from his contract at Luton Town FC by mutual consent in May, Fitzsimons signed for Conference South side Dartford FC.
During a injury plagued spell the left-back failed to make a league appearance for the Hatters.
The 23-year-old, who appeared at Luton Magistrates’ Court on crutches, is once again on the sidelines after the recurrence of a serious cruciate knee injury which ruled him out for a season at Kenilworth Road.
In mitigation, Cordelia Kanife said: “(Fitzsimons) is only 23 years of age and he is a professional football player.
“He never drinks alcohol.
“He has an injury that was sustained during a football game and he has been quite stressed about it, however he is going into rehab. “On the day he had a few drinks and this affected him severely, he is very remorseful.”
Ms Kanife provided five references of Fitzsimons’ behaviour from Luton Town FC to magistrates.
Sentencing has been adjourned and the 23-year-old was given unconditional bail.
Following the trial a Hatters spokesperson told the Luton News: “Luton Town were disappointed with Danny’s behaviour on the night in question, especially considering it was at a club function with many of our supporters present.
“Danny’s actions are something we do not condone.
“However, in light of the incident we must place on record that Danny conducted himself professionally in the subsequent internal investigation and was full of regret for his misconduct.
“Following the investigation we chose to terminate Danny’s contract, but we would like to wish him well in the future.”