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
Thursday 09 January 2014
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.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food