Soccer star Dwight Yorke yesterday relived the moment he "feared for his life" as he was robbed of his diamond encrusted watch.
The Birmingham City striker said he was convinced one of the men who mugged him in the toilets of a Mayfair nightclub was armed.
"He went to his jacket pocket ... giving me the impression he had some sort of weapon," he told London's Southwark Crown Court.
"I was concerned about my life. I couldn't believe this was happening," said the player who was casually dressed in jeans, jacket and open-necked shirt.
Deciding it would be wiser to give in he quickly undid his £36,000 Franck Muller Conquistador King timepiece and handed it over.
But when the "powerfully-built" robber and two alleged accomplices then fled, he threw caution to the wind and ran after them.
"I was shouting 'somebody has stolen my watch, somebody has stolen my watch'."
Doormen, nearby cab drivers and several photographers staking out the swish Berkeley Street night spot Funky Buddah, formed an impromptu posse and joined the chase.
"The three men ran in different directions. I followed the man who had got my watch."
The player's fitness soon gave him the advantage and within minutes he had cornered his "winded" quarry - celebrity minder Godfrey Kessie - in a tube station, the court heard.
As the 25-year-old turned to face his pursuer, the footballer leapt on him.
But London Underground maintenance workers, pulled them apart, thinking the player was the aggressor.
Undeterred Yorke again closed with the robber only to be restrained once again.
However, a cab driver took advantage of the brief lull to pluck the watch from Kessie's jacket and hand it back to the player.
Kessie, who lives in Salisbury Road, Wood Green, north London, and runs Lifeline Security, subsequently admitted one count of robbery on June 30 last year.
But his two alleged accomplices, Maiur Hirani (25) of Kenton Park Avenue, Kenton, north-west London, and Abbas Rizvi (24) of Merlin Close, Edgware, north London, denied the charge.
The footballer told the jury he had arrived at the club just before 1am.
After a couple of hours drinking with friends in the VIP area, he decided to visit the toilets just before closing time.
But as he stood at one of the urinals he noticed Kessie standing behind him "looking at me very strangely".
Then, as he turned round to wash his hands, the bodyguard asked him: "Do you know me?"
"I said, 'no' ... he then looked me in the eyes and said he wanted my watch.
Yorke told the court he had also become aware that Rizvi was also standing next to him.
He claimed the security officer also demanded he hand the watch over.
While all this was going on Hirani was allegedly standing by the door acting as look-out.
In the circumstances he decided to hand the watch over.
The trial continues.