A SEMI-PROFESSIONAL goalkeeper today, Friday, denied twice raping a woman in a hotel room after his team had won the FA Vase.

But Michael Emery, 33, who was the reserve keeper for Warrington Rylands, admitted he had taken naked photos of the complainant and distributed them amongst his teammates asking: “Anyone want a go?”

The complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, earlier told the jury she had consensual sex with Mr Emery in his room at the Grove Hotel in Watford on May 22nd 2021, following Warrington Rylands victory at Wembley.

But during the night she said he woke her twice by biting her and forcing her to have intercourse.

In the witness box at St Albans Crown Court the goalkeeper was asked by his barrister Kate Blackwell KC: “What were you doing taking an intimate photo of a sleeping woman who had not given you permission?”

Warrington Guardian: The duo will appear at St Albans Crown Court on May 21

He replied: “I don't know. I was bragging. I deeply regret taking it. It was stupid. If I could take it back I would. I can’t t justify why I did it. It is horrible.”

Emery said he had not meant it when he sent the caption: “Anyone want a go?”

He said: “I was just showing off and being a lad. I don’t know why I did it.”

He admitted sending another image of the complainant when she was awake. “I responded to the message without thinking and sent a vile photo.”

Ms Blackwell asked: “Did she notice you were taking that photo?” He said: “Yes that was the only time she saw I had the phone. She said ‘best for your eyes only‘ with a bit of a smirk. I had already sent or was sending it.”

He said the next morning as they travelled back to Warrington he tried to remove the messages from WhatsApp.

Asked if he had woken her twice in the night by biting her and having sex without consent he said: “No, never.”

Mr Emery, of Signet Square, Coventry, denies two charges of rape and one of disclosing private sexual photographs or films without consent with intent to cause distress.

Giving evidence, he said he was born in Boston, Lincs and had been a semi-professional footballer since he was aged 15 or 16 playing for “quite a few clubs.”

Warrington Guardian: Wembley Stadium


In the 2019 season he went to Warrington for the first time but had a spell with Runcorn before returning to Warrington a few games before the 2021 final.

Warrington won the final 3-2, but he spent the whole time on the substitutes’ bench.

He said everyone was in a really good mood after the victory, saying: “To win at Wembley happens for very few players.”

He said the complainant had joined him at his table at the hotel and they talked about the game for 20 minutes. They were both drinking Moretti beer.

Later, at around 11.30, he said he said he had another conversation with her which became a bit more flirty.

“During the conversation she said she did not know how she was getting home. I said I had a bed in my room. She joked and laughed and said ‘I picked the right player then.’ It was a bit of a smile and a smirk.”

He said they went to his room at around 2am where they had sex. He admitted biting her during the sex and said she bit him in his groin area.

He told the jury had never left the room until the next morning and had not taken cocaine, saying: “I don’t take drugs.”

He said they had sex on three occasions. In the morning he said the woman said something about seeing him again.

“I just said that is fine by me. I explained I was in a relationship at the time.” He said she responded by saying: “That’s makes me feel special.”

He said: “Maybe she was disgruntled. I just said it has been a little bit complicated and that I had a girlfriend.”

Case proceeding