Video: Irish footballer apologises for Cheltenham urinating incident

NewsBy Sunday World
Samir Carruthers
Samir Carruthers

Former Republic of Ireland underage player and MK Dons midfielder Samir Carruthers has apologised for his behaviour at the Cheltenham Festival.

Cheltenham had earlier cancelled Wednesday's booking by a group of footballers after pictures, which appeared to show one of the players urinating into a beer glass on the first day of the festival, were published.

Carruthers, 22, who was photographed relieving himself on a balcony while surrounded by racegoers, said he had been discliplined by the club.

Carruthers told Sky Sports: "I just want to say I'm sorry to everyone, my family, the club, chairman, the gaffer.

"I've not been raised up to do something like that and I've let everyone down.

"I've let the community down and I've let Milton Keynes down and I have to take the criticism that comes with it.

"It's not something that should be laughed about. It's not an example I should be giving to kids either.

"I'm meant to be a role model and I have to live by my actions now and I really am hurt by what I've done.

"It was a silly mistake and I just have to take everything that comes with it."

Other images printed in The Sun appear to show a glass of liquid being poured over the railing by another man as Carruthers, wearing a grey flat cap and waistcoat, grins.

Carruthers said he had been disciplined by the club following a meeting with chairman Pete Winkelman and manager Karl Robinson.

"They're obviously very let down and I'm being disciplined for it," Carruthers added.

"They had faith in me not to do something like that so I feel like I've met them down massively.

"But it's not just them, I've let down the whole team, my team-mates, everyone.

"And I'm really sorry to Cheltenham as well because they let me in and stuff and I obviously embarrassed everyone."

Several other footballers were also involved in the incident and Cheltenham cancelled the party's Wednesday booking, preventing them from attending day two of the Festival.

Cheltenham Racecourse tweeted: "In regards to images of inappropriate behaviour from yesterday, we have cancelled their booking for today."

Sophia Dale, the Festival's head of communications, added on Sky Sports News HQ: "It was just this small group of people who made this incident happen and they are not welcome today."

MK Dons launched an investigation into the pictures and said that while Carruthers was involved neither he, nor any other MK Dons player, threw the contents of the glass over the balcony.

A club statement read: "The club is aware of pictures circulating in the national media of one of its players at the Cheltenham Festival. The club has commenced an internal investigation into the matter."

Northampton have launched an investigation into the behaviour of striker James Collins, who has also appeared for the Republic of Ireland at underage level.

A club statement read: "Northampton Town Football Club have launched an investigation into claims that forward James Collins, currently on loan from Shrewsbury Town, was involved in a drunken incident at Cheltenham racecourse.

"As a club we take any such claims extremely seriously, and we expect the highest standards of behaviour at all times.

"We are unable to comment further until this investigation has been completed."

Collins has scored six goals in 12 appearances for the Cobblers since arriving on loan from Shrewsbury in early January, helping the club open up an 11-point lead at the top of Sky Bet League Two.

Collins' parent club Shrewsbury have confirmed they too will be investigating the incident.

A club statement read: "Shrewsbury Town Football Club have been made aware of an alleged incident involving player James Collins, currently on loan at Northampton Town, at Cheltenham Racecourse.

"Shrewsbury Town will fully investigate the alleged incident and no further comment will be made until the investigation processed has been finalised."

Bristol City defender Luke Ayling was pictured alongside Carruthers, with his arm around the Dons player at one point.

While there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing from the 24-year-old, the Robins said in a statement: "We are aware of the disappointing images from the Cheltenham Festival that have been printed in various national newspapers this morning.

"We will be speaking to the players concerned and will take appropriate action where necessary."