Sammy Philpott, 37, was accused of ‘nonsense’ while on the stand for cross-examination during his trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Philpott said he had no choice but to plunge a knife into 6ft 7in Moneyfields centre-back Stanlie Hopkins and his brother-in-law Daniel Forster during a fight in the Red Lion pub car park in Cosham on October 25
The pair came to blows after a ‘tense’ exchange earlier in the day at a funeral wake at the Conservative Club in Cosham.
Philpott said he had gone to check on an old friend at the wake when ‘Stan pushed me and said “get out the way”’.
After some mourners had attended the Red Lion, Philpott said he drove to the pub car park with another man after being told to go there.
Mr Hopkins subsequently marched towards Philpott’s car. The defendant accepted there was an ‘instantaneous coming together’ as he rose from the driver’s seat.
Prosecutor Helen Easterbrook accused Philpott of ‘driving down’ a hammer over Mr Hopkins’ head, who was forced into ‘preemptive’ action. Philpott says the weapon was a rubber mallet not a hammer.
Philpott, responding to the question, said: ‘I was being punched in the face. I was trying to protect myself.’
He added: ‘I wasn’t aiming for his head.’
After the fight had spilled out across the car park, Philpott then retreated back to his car as Mr Hopkins and other people marched over before surrounding him by the vehicle.
CCTV footage played to the court then showed Mr Hopkins run forward and kick Philpott into the car.
Philpott said he was ‘scared’ and ‘still wanted to speak to Stan’ before he was kicked. ‘You can see he has attacked me,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t get in the car.’
But Ms Easterbrook said Mr Hopkins was provoked by Philpott brandishing a knife.
Philpott hit back: ‘I was getting attacked. I looked around and saw a knife.
‘I went into a frenzy and was just trying to protect myself.’
Ms Easterbrook responded: ‘You picked up the knife before you got in the car.’
‘Not true,’ Philpott answered.
Ms Easterbrook poured scorn on Philpott’s account the knife was in the car from fishing trips, calling it ‘nonsense’.
She accused Philpott of arming himself with two weapons - with him having the ‘second option with a hammer’.
‘The only reason you had a hammer and a knife was for a weapon,’ the barrister said.
Philpott rejected the accusations before adding: ‘It was all self-defence.’
He said he drove away because he was ‘scared and panicky’.
Philpott said he was left with concussion and needed hospital treatment after a bone on his back was left disjointed.
The epilepsy and PTSD sufferer said he had two seizures before he was subsequently arrested by police.
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Philpott, of Eastern Road, Portsmouth, denies two counts of wounding with intent, two counts of unlawful wounding and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon.