Beattie pleads innocence
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
James Beattie insists he did not mean to head-butt William Gallas.James Beattie insists he did not mean to head-butt William Gallas after his early dismissal against Chelsea.
Beattie lasted just eight minutes of Everton's game against the Premiership leaders when Mike Riley produced a red card for Beattie's clash with Gallas.
The former Southampton marksman insists he did not intentionally head-butt the French defender, and is distraught at his first ever sending off.
"For a start I can tell you that it wasn't an intentional head butt," Beattie told the club's website.
"I was chasing the ball into the corner and William Gallas was checking over his shoulder, blocking me off - he did it two or three times and was stopping as we were running.
"I thought to myself: 'If you're going to stop then I'm just going to run over you'. As he went to stop I was going forward, our heads barely touched and it wasn't an intentional head butt.
"It was totally unintentional; I've not even been suspended in my career let alone sent off and I think he'd have stayed down a lot longer if I'd have head butted him.
"It's devastating for myself and I'd just like to say sorry to the manager, the rest of the lads and the fans."
Beattie claims that Gallas made the most of the challenge, and is now devastated to miss Everton's FA Cup clash with Manchester United next week through suspension.
"I think his reaction did make a bigger issue of the situation and I think maybe if it had been John Terry then he might not have even gone down.
"I spoke to Wayne Bridge and he said that William Gallas said it hurt, which I cannot believe to be true at all.
"I went in to see the referee and he said that from where he was stood he had to send me off, which was fair enough but he accepted what I had to say.
"To be sent off in the first eight minutes was massive and missing future games prolongs the agony, especially against Manchester United next weekend."
Everton boss David Moyes backed his expensive striker, claiming that he did not think it was a sending off.
"I don't think it was a sending-off, I have been a centre-half in my time and I would have been ashamed to have gone down as easily as that," said Moyes.
"Not in a million years would John Terry have gone down in the same way. I have never heard of anybody butting somebody from behind while you are running after them.
"That was not a sending-off for me. I have seen the video.''