A MILLERS fan told a jury how his friend was assaulted in Rotherham town centre hours after a game.
Jack Denton told a trial at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday (Monday) that he had seen men punching and kicking his friend Danny Dix.
Father-of-one Mr Dix (38) was assaulted on Bridgegate at about 4.45pm on Saturday, March 9, last year. He died in hospital a week later.
Liam Green (23), of Rotherham Road, Maltby; Kyle Beech (27), of Lansbury Avenue, Maltby, and Brock Playforth (25), of Ambleside Walk, North Anston, are on trial for his manslaughter, which they all deny.
Green and Playforth have admitted affray in connection with the death, along with four other men. Beech denies affray.
Mr Denton had been drinking with Mr Dix in Sheffield and Rotherham on the day of the assault, the court heard.
They had watched Sheffield United play Rotherham United on TV in the Mail Coach pub, Rotherham, before drinking in The Angel on Bridgegate.
After leaving The Angel they had seen a group of men outside the County Borough, said Mr Denton.
“I heard shouting and they were being rowdy,” he said.
“They were being drunk and disorderly.”
Mr Denton said he had not recognised any members of the group outside the County.
“I carried on walking in that direction [towards the County] because there was a taxi outside the Bridge Inn,” he said.
Mr Denton said Mr Dix had been talking to someone who was part of the group outside the County.
“The person Danny was talking to, there was a person at the side of him who was part of the group of lads outside the County and I saw him hit Danny,” Mr Denton said.
He said the person had hit Mr Dix on the cheek.
“Danny wobbled backwards and put his hands up,” he said.
“When he was walking backwards with his hands up, someone ran and hit him again. That was a different person.”
Mr Denton said he saw Mr Dix fall to the floor and hit his head.
“I ran over to him — there was a lot of blood around his body,” he said.
“He wasn’t moving.
“I went over to him and tried talking to him to see if he was awake, and that’s how we knew he wasn’t.”
Mr Denton said he had shouted for an ambulance.
He said a man from The Angel had ran over and said he was a first aider.
“Then one of the group of lads ran over to kick him,” he said.
Mr Denton said Mr Dix had been kicked to the side of his leg by someone who came from the group outside the County Borough.
Under cross-examination, Mr Denton said he had drunk more than 12 pints of alcohol before Mr Dix had been assaulted.
He rejected a suggestion by Ms Kath Goddard, defending Green, that alcohol had affected his recollection of events that day.
Ms Goddard asked Mr Denton if he accepted that the CCTV footage he had watched in court had shown one person punching Mr Dix and not two.
He said: “From where I’m standing it looks like he’s been punched by a different guy.”
Mr Nicholas Rhodes, defending Playforth, asked Mr Denton whether he knew if Mr Dix was a member of the Section 5 “hooligan” group of Rotherham United supporters.
Mr Denton said: “No.”
The trial continues.