TWO premiership footballers were at the centre of a fracas at Scarborough's Opera House Casino while on a midweek social outing.
The players – Hull City's Dean Windass and Marlon King – were involved in a confrontation which resulted in King allegedly headbutting Windass, who later left the team's hotel by taxi alone at 6am, asking to be taken to his home in Ilkley.
There is believed to have be ongoing tension between the two as King has replaced hometown hero Windass as the main striker for the team who have proven the surprise package of the new Premiership season – the newly-promoted team currently stand sixth in the league table.
A witness said that the two had been involved in an argument and had used abusive language.
He added: "King then threw himself at Windass, headbutting him in the face. There was blood and drinks were sent flying. It was embarrassing. They were like snarling animals."
The witness said team-mates had pulled the two apart and, after promising not to cause any more trouble, the party was allowed to stay in the casino.
He added: "King also swore at the receptionist. When the players finally left at 4.30am everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Their behaviour was violent and appalling."
A casino spokeswoman confirmed an incident had taken place, but said police were not called. She said: "There was a small fracas between two players. It was over within a minute or two."
In a further twist to the tale Windass left the team's hotel – the Hackness Grange – alone at around 6am in the morning for his home in Menston, Ilkley.
Scarborough taxi driver Dave Wood took the fare. He told the Evening News: "When I got to the hotel at six there was a group of young lads in their 20s still drinking in the lobby. One or two of them seemed to be arguing. I got the impression Windass just wanted to get out of there. He said 'Just drive – take me to Leeds'. He was alright with me – he just fell asleep in the taxi. He gave me a decent tip too."
A Hull City spokesman said: "It was an unfortunate incident. The club decline to comment any further."