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England stars Owen, Gerrard give evidence in faked autographs trial

England stars Owen, Gerrard give evidence in faked autographs trial

England internationals Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard testified Tuesday in the trial of two men accused of selling forged autographs of sports stars.
Owen told Chester Crown Court that he had agreed to provide Faisal Madani with a few signatures, but denied giving him a significant quantity to sell in his Sporting Icons store in this northwest English city.
Madani, who denies 20 counts of supplying forged signatures, organized a 10-day family holiday for Owen during the 2004 offseason in return for publicity, the jury heard.
Owen, who was introduced to Madani during his eight-year stint at Liverpool, claimed he wasn't aware Madani dealt in sports memorabilia until contacted by prosecutors.
Madani's co-accused, Graeme Walker, denies more than 50 counts of cheating the customers.
Earlier in the trial, prosecutor Andrew Thomas said the bulk of the fraud took place from 2003-05.
One of the triggers for the prosecution was when fans of former England captain David Beckham recognized that his purported autographs in an advert for Sporting Icons were fake.
George Best, who died in December 2005, was paid compensation by Madani after he was caught selling fake autographs of the former Manchester United star in 2002, the jury heard last week.


Updated : 2020-12-03 03:19 GMT+08:00