Chris Smalling: Manchester United defender issues apology after an 'ill-thought out and insensitive decision' in dressing up as a suicide bomber

England international was pictured at a fancy dress party he and his girlfriend were hosting

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has apologised for making an “ill-thought out and insensitive decision” after a picture emerged of him wearing what appeared to be a suicide bomber costume at a party.

The front page of Thursday's edition of The Sun showed the 24-year-old England international wearing a head dress and items resembling a mock circuit board, mobile phone and cables on his chest. He was also wearing bottles of the liqueur Jagermeister and the energy drink Red Bull.

A blend of the two drinks is known as a 'Jagerbomb' and Smalling's management company on Thursday morning insisted the player's outfit, worn at a private party, had simply been an “attempted comedy play” on the drink.

In a statement, Smalling's management company the Wasserman Media Group said: “Chris and his girlfriend hosted a fancy dress party to celebrate Christmas and their belated birthdays with close friends in the assumed privacy of his own home.

“He dressed in a costume consisting of empty bottles of jagermeister and cans of Red Bull strapped to his chest in an attempted comedy play on the popular 'jager bomb drink'.

“Although he fully accepts in hindsight it was an ill-thought out and insensitive decision, absolutely no harm was intended whatsoever and he apologises for any offence caused.”

Smalling, who began his professional career with Isthmian League Premier Division side Maidstone United, signed for Manchester United from Fulham for an undisclosed fee in January 2010, seeing out the remainder of the season with the Cottagers before completing his transfer in July.

He made just 16 Premier League appearances in his first season at Old Trafford after finding his route to the first team blocked by the centre-half pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

The 24-year-old has on occasion been used at right-back as cover for Rafael, but has had his fair share of injuries, missing a significant part of the last campaign as a result.

The defender has been given more opportunities under new United boss David Moyes this season, having already made 20 appearances.

He made his senior England debut in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria in September 2011 and has gone on to make eight more appearances for the national team.

With six of those caps coming in 2013, Smalling will be hoping, fitness permitting, to earn a place in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad to Brazil.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future