A ROYAL Navy diver has told a jury he did not assault a rival player.
Carl Thomas, 30, a Leading Seaman (Diver) is on trial at Swansea Crown Court, after denying assaulting a Johnstown FC player while he was playing for Seaside FC, based in Llanelli.
Defence barrister Jeremy Jenkins told the jury Thomas had received a commendation in 2010 for his part in saving HMS Endurance after it began sinking on a patrol of the Arctic.
Thomas, of Bryn Uchaf, Bryn, Llanelli said that during the match in April 2011, he thought Ian Coverdale, the alleged victim, had made a late tackle on him as he made a run down the right wing and crossed a ball into the box.
The prosecution allege Thomas lost his temper after the tackle and then butted him.
"Mr Coverdale, in my eyes, deliberately tried to take me out," said Thomas.
He said after the tackle he had accidentally hit heads with Mr Coverdale.
Thomas told the jury he was grabbed from behind in a rugby tackle by another player who knocked him into Mr Coverdale, who was left with a 2in cut and needed stitches. Thomas also alleged Mr Coverdale had verbal assaulted him.
The trial continues.