Gangster in threat to shoot Steven Gerrard
Liverpool Daily Post, Apr 10 2008
THE father of Steven Gerrard last night revealed how a notorious figure from the Merseyside underworld had threatened to shoot the Liverpool FC captain in the legs and maim him.
Gerrard’s father Paul said they recruited John Kinsella as a fixer to “sort out” George Bromley Jnr, who had terrorised the Huyton- born midfielder for two years.
The revelations came in a letter written by Paul Gerrard on Tuesday, the day his son was leading Liverpool FC to a famous Champions League victory against Arsenal at Anfield.
It was submitted as evidence yesterday in a robbery trial at Lincoln Crown Court, where Kinsella is one of four co-accused from Liverpool.
The jury was told that Gerrard, 27, was placed under police protection because the thug was “making his life a misery”, including, on one occasion, ambushing the footballer outside his apartment in Southport.
Kinsella, 43, is one of four men accused of taking part in a £41,000 robbery in which a haulage depot night watchman was tied up.
But he claims he was in the area of the raid at the time only in his role as an under- world enforcer – a job he once carried out for the Gerrards.
In the letter from Paul Gerrard – which was confirmed as genuine after police visited him yesterday (Wed) – he told of the “total respect” he and his multi-millionaire son had for Kinsella, after he helped put an end to their “nightmare.”
Mr Gerrard wrote: “I would like to say that, in 2001, my son Steven was being terror- ised by a notorious Liverpool gangster known as ‘The Psycho’, who was threatening to maim my son by shooting him in the legs. Also, he was trying to extort a large amount of money from Steven.
“We immediately contacted the police and asked for protection. This went on for a long time, during which Steven’s car was smashed up and the gangster chased him while he was driving home from training.
“This was one of the worst times of our lives. It was really having a bad effect on his career. Liverpool FC provided security for Steven, but the threats still kept coming.
“We were at our wits’ end when we were introduced by a family friend to John Kinsella. I told him about the ongoing threats and violence. John then reassured me and my family he would resolve our nightmare.
“From that time until this day, we have never had any more problems from the Liverpool underworld. Steven and I have total respect for John for what he did for us. Yours faithfully, Paul Gerrard.”
Giving evidence, Kinsella said he was contacted by the star’s family after Gerrard was threatened by Liverpool gangster George Bromley Jnr.
He said: “I took steps. I spoke to George Bromley Jnr. I told him to stop it and leave him alone. After I had spoken to him, he followed my advice.”
Kinsella, a boxer and martial arts expert, said his work for Gerrard was just one example of how he collected debts and sorted out problems for people.
He told the jury: “On one occasion, a Liverpool football player, Steven Gerrard, was being terrorised by a Liverpool gangster.
“It started in 2001, and I spoke to his father in 2003. One of his family approached me and said this person was making Steven’s life a misery.
“He was demanding money with menaces and threatening to shoot Steven in the legs. He ambushed Steven outside his apartment in Southport.”
Kinsella said Bromley Jnr was the man responsible for the campaign of terror against the star, adding: “George Bromley Jnr is a young lad.
“He was a very violent figure in Liverpool, and his father was well-known in the underworld as being an enforcer – mainly on the club scene.
“But George Bromley Snr is not alive any more. He was executed at his friend’s house – he was shot a number of times in the head.
“I know George Bromley Jnr is a very dangerous man. Steven was given armed police protection because they feared for his safety that much.
“A member of his family approached me. I met his father, Paul. His father came with one of his family to ask me to do something about this.”
Kinsella said he had secured proof of his claims from Gerrard’s father after visiting him on Tuesday – hours before Liverpool’s clash with Arsenal.
“I saw Steven Gerrard’s father yesterday. He has provided me with a letter confirming what I have just said,” Kinsella told the jury.
“He is just recovering from a hernia operation. He had actually come out of hospital yesterday morning when I knocked on his front door.”
Kinsella said that, on another occasion, he was “called in” by a Merseyside garage owner who was being threatened by a protection racket.
The man was “absolutely terrified” after a gang of thugs, aged between 16 and 26, told him to hand over £1,000 a week, he claimed.
He said: “They were a formidable force. But, after I spoke to the leader, the garage owner didn't have any problems with them that I know of.”
The trial continues.