Harry Maguire feared he was being kidnapped in Greek arrest
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire says he feared for his life and thought he was being kidnapped during his arrest in Greece.
The England international’s legal team have lodged an appeal against his conviction for assaulting a police offer and attempted bribery following an incident on the island of Mykonos.
United have said the appeal nullifies Tuesday’s ruling in a Greek court and means Maguire has no criminal record ahead of a full retrial after he was handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence.
“My initial thought, I thought we were getting kidnapped. We got down on our knees, we put our hands in the air, they just started hitting us,” he told BBC Sport.
“They were hitting my leg saying my career’s over: ‘No more football. You won’t play again’.
“And at this point I thought there is no chance these are police or I don’t know who they are so I tried to run away, I was in that much of a panic, fear, scared for my life. All the way through it.”
Maguire claimed that incident took place outside a police station after he attempted to take his younger sister Daisy to a hospital because she appeared to be losing consciousness having been approached by two men.
The 27-year-old denied attempting to bribe the police.
When asked about that, he replied: “No, for sure. As soon as I saw that statement, it’s just ridiculous.”
The world’s most expensive defender was dropped from Gareth Southgate’s England squad having initially been included before his conviction on Tuesday.
He insists he has no reason to apologise for the incident, which happened in the early hours of Friday last week, but expressed regret at causing potential embarrassment to his club.
“It was horrible. It’s not something I ever want to do again. I don’t wish it on anybody. It’s the first time I’ve ever been inside a prison,” he said.
“I don’t feel like I owe an apology to anybody. An apology is something when you’ve done something wrong or regret. I regret being in the situation.
“I play for one of the biggest clubs in the world, I regret putting the fans and the club through this.
“I think it could have happened anywhere. I love Greece, I think us footballers get a bit of stick for trying to stay away from everything. It’s not how I want to live my life.”
Former Sheffield United, Hull and Leicester player Maguire is not certain he will remain United captain but is positive “the truth will be told” in the retrial.
It’s a massive privilege to play for the club, never mind to be captain. It’s not my decision to make,” he said.
“I have great faith in the Greek law, the retrial will give us more time to prepare, gather the evidence, allow witnesses into the court. And I am really confident that the truth will be told and come out.”
Speaking of the initial incident with his sister, Maguire said: “These two men approached my little sister, asked her where she was from.
“She responded and then my fiancee, Fern, has seen my little sister’s eyes go into the back of her head. She ran over and she was fainting, she was in and out of consciousness.”