Manchester United captain Harry Maguire says he ‘feared for his life’ during an incident in Mykonos that saw the England international found guilty on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and attempts of bribery.
The 27-year-old was handed a 21-month suspended jail sentence after a swift trial in a Greek court on Tuesday.
Maguire released an immediate statement to confirm that he will appeal the verdict and the defender has subsequently been granted a retrial.
In his first major interview since the incident, Maguire told the BBC that he will not be apologising for the incident and says that he ‘feared for his life’ during a clash with the police.
‘I don’t feel I owe an apology to anybody,’ said Maguire.
‘An apology is something when you have done something wrong.’
The prosecution claimed Maguire threw several punches at the officers but the defender refutes those suggestions and says he was the victim of physical abuse.
‘They hit me a lot on the legs,’ said Maguire.
‘It wasn’t on my mind. I was in that much of a panic. Fear. Scared for my life.’
Maguire’s defence was based around an incident concerning his sister, Daisy.
Fern Hawkins, Maguire’s fiance, is said to have alerted Maguire and his friends after she noticed that Daisy was ‘slipping in and out of consciousness’ after speaking to two Albanian men in a bar.
The group then called fora taxi to take Daisy to the hospital but their car was pulled over and Maguire says he thought they were being kidnapped.
‘These two men approached my little sister,’ said Maguire.
‘They asked her where she was from. She responded. My fiance Fern saw my little sister’s eyes going to the back of her head — she was fainting, going in and out of consciousness
‘My initial thought was we were getting kidnapped. We got down on our knees, put our hands in the air. They started hitting us. They were hitting my legs saying my “career is over, no more football, you won’t play again”.
‘At this point, I thought there’s no chance these are police, or I don’t know who they are. So I tried to run away’.
Maguire admits he ‘regrets’ that the incident has caused so many headlines but says he did ‘nothing wrong’.
‘Obviously the situation has made it difficult for one of the biggest clubs in the world, so I regret putting the fans and the club through this, but I did nothing wron,’ said Maguire.
‘I found myself in a situation where it could have happened to anybody and anywhere.’