An Asian taxi driver told a court that former Luton Town striker Ricky Miller called him a “pa** c***” before allegedly headbutting him in the face.
Mr Miller, 26, denies charges that he racially abused and assaulted taxi driver Mohammed Adnan after being ejected from the taxi at Hockliffe in the early hours of April 27.
Fellow Luton Town player Shaun Whalley was present when the alleged incident occurred. Both were arrested but no charges were made against Mr Whalley.
After a jury of seven men and five women was sworn in, prosecutor Paul Fairley outlined the case against Mr Miller, who has since relocated to Dover Athletic.
He said: “The team were having their end of season celebration. That had initially taken place at Luton Rugby Club but some of the players had decided to relocate to Pink Punters club in Fenny Stratford.
“About 3.30am Mr Miller got into a fight with a fellow player. Having been ejected, they were standing outside with security.
“They got into a taxi. Mr Miller was very drunk, described variously as ‘completely wasted’ and ‘intoxicated’.”
Giving evidence, Mr Adnan said: “I just thought they were normal customers. We usually have customers that have had a high level of alcohol.”
The court heard the two men were “larking about” with Mr Miller reportedly trying to kiss Mr Adnan after getting into the front passenger seat. He was asked to move to the back.
Mr Adnan said: “I asked them to tell me where to go and they said ‘Cookies and Cream’ in Dunstable.”
As the taxi set off towards Dunstable, the prosecution said the two players were drunkenly leaning forward to Mr Adnan, and fidgeting and kissing each other in the back.
Mr Miller then reportedly grabbed the driver’s empty McDonalds cup and said, “I’m going to have a p*** in this”.
Mr Adnan said: “I said to him, ‘no you can’t p*** in my car’. He just chucked the cup on the floor and I drove a few minutes and he started being verbal.”
Just before Hockliffe, the mood changed as Mr Miller was alleged to have become abusive.
Mr Adnan went on: “He said ‘You Pa** c***’ and ‘I’m going to stab you and I’m going to stab the police’.
“As soon as I got into Hockliffe I stopped at the traffic lights.
“I stopped and I said, ‘I’m not taking you any further’.
“They got out, one out of either side and left the doors open. I got out to close the doors.”
While Mr Whalley pleaded with the driver to drop them off, Mr Miller is alleged to have headbutted Mr Adnan directly in the face, causing a lot of blood.
Mr Adnan said: “They were just in the road causing a nuisance to other vehicles driving past, jumping at them.
“I flagged down the police and the officer that turned up saw all the blood on my face.”
Mr Adnan pointed out Mr Miller as the man responsible.
Ricky Miller was described by the arresting officer as being “abusive to anyone in the area”.
Mr Fairley said: “Again, being agitated, calling the police ‘bell ends’.
“He was threatening the police with unlawful arrest, saying he’d get £600.”
After sobering up, Mr Miller gave police a prepared statement during his interview with a lawyer present.
It stated: “I deny all the offences. I was in the taxi with my friend. I wasn’t racist towards him at any point and I did not assault him in any way.”
The trial continues tomorrow.