HeadLine: I might be a scumbag ..but I’ll still be a millionaire in the
The Mirror, 17/09/2003, p11
by SHAUN MILNE
CELTIC star Neil Lennon taunted two drunk students by saying: “I might
be a scumbag – but I will still be a millionaire in the morning.”
But Glasgow Sheriff Court heard yesterday how Lennon’s remarks
backfired when he was followed by both men and then headbutted.
The Glasgow University students yesterday admitted pouncing on the
midfielder in an unprovoked attack.
Drunken yobs Gregg Miller and Neil MacLeod had insulted Lennon who was
in his car with a female friend.
Lennon, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, sped off but was stopped at traffic
lights on the city’s Great Western Road where the pair caught up and
spat at him before launching a volley of abuse.
The footballer confronted the pair but was set-upon by MacLeod.
A court heard the pair, both aged 20, had initially tried to have “a
bit of banter” with the footballer.
But Sheriff John Montgomery said: “This may have started off in good
humour but it deteriorated and ended up in an assault.
“Neil Lennon was simply minding his own business until you both
proceeded to get involved.”
MacLeod, of Hyndland, Glasgow, was fined £700 after pleading guilty to
breach of the peace and assault. Miller, from Rubislaw, Aberdeen, was
fined £200 after admitting breach of the peace.
The pair had also been charged with shouting sectarian remarks at
Lennon but the crown accepted their not guilty pleas.
Lennon had been driving home from Celtic’s win over Motherwell at
around 1am on May 8 with a female friend when the incident happened.
Miller and MacLeod were staggering back from a night’s drinking when
they spotted the 32-year-old star in his BMW.
Robert Bloomer, prosecuting, said: “They were the worse for wear but
approached Lennon’s car at traffic lights and started talking football.
It began as a bit of banter but it soon deteriorated.”
The yobs began to abuse Lennon calling him “a f***ing scumbag” and “a
d***”. Passers-by had to intervene before Lennon finally got away.
He was later seen to be suffering from a small wound to his head after
Second-year medical student Miller later handed himself into his local
Defence lawyer David Hall said Miller had been “horrified” by his
behaviour and that he had received hatemail since the attack.
The lawyer added: “He is sorry for what happened and accepts the
concern it has caused for everyone, including his parents.”
MacLeod’s lawyer Peter Watson said it was “a classic misjudgment
involving young men and alcohol”.
He said the attack on Lennon was “like a rag doll taking on a tuned
Outside court, the shamed pair made no comment.
Lennon has had his share of controversy since joining the Parkhead club
from Leicester City in 2001.
He has endured sectarian abuse and hate mail and quit playing for
Northern Ireland last year after death threats from Loyalist
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