A friend of tragic Shaun Woodburn grabbed pool cues and headed outside as fighting erupted near a Leith bar, a murder trial has heard.
Steven Swanson said he was attacked in the street, sustaining a broken nose, then took the cues from the bar and returned to the fighting.
Mr Swanson, 32, had been enjoying a Hogmanay party with his cousin, the Hibs player Danny Swanson, and their long-time friend Mr Woodburn.
Mr Woodburn, 30, died from injuries suffered in a major street disturbance outside Gladstones Bar in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Accused of Mr Woodburn’s murder at the High Court in Dunfermline are Mohammed Zakariyah, 18, of Gilmerton Dykes Grove, Edinburgh and a 17-year-old youth who cannot be named for legal reasons. They are also accused of a series of assaults and disorder across Edinburgh the same night and deny all the charges.
Mr Swanson told the court he formerly worked as a doorman but is now unemployed. On Hogmanay he was having a night out in the pub owned by his uncles and was accompanied by Mr Woodburn. He said they had been friends for 18 years, since they were youngsters.
Mr Swanson did not enter the courtroom, giving evidence via a video link from another part of the building.
He described the atmosphere at Gladstone’s during the Hogmanay party as “happy”. However, he received a phone call which resulted in him going with his cousin Danny in his car to look for a friend.
They did not find him, returning to the pub and as they arrived they saw signs of trouble outside.
“There were boys confronting my friends outside the pub. I got out of Danny’s car to see what the situation was,” recalled Mr Swanson.
The group of strangers were “being aggressive, shouting abuse and there was threatening behaviour”, said Mr Swanson.
The trial before Lady Stacey continues.