Everton striker Victor Anichebe said he was humiliated, upset and angry after being confronted by police while window-shopping.

The 20-year-old Nigerian and a friend were accosted by officers while looking in a jeweller's shop window on Wednesday. The Everton striker's friend was handcuffed when things turned ugly.

Anichebe said: "Whilst I do fully understand Cheshire Police's desire to tackle the problem of robberies on jewellery shops in the Knutsford area, I remain deeply upset and very angry about the treatment which was meted out to myself and a friend."

Anichebe asked if his being stopped by police was a "race issue" in a statement he released on his club's website on Thursday night. He claimed he and his friend were accused of attempted theft and treated as criminals despite the fact that he explained who he was.

CCTV operators reported the men to police as acting suspiciously in smart King Street, Knutsford, Cheshire, where there has been a spate of robberies.

"We were doing no more than window-shopping when we found ourselves surrounded by police officers who accused us of attempting to steal watches," Anichebe added. "Sadly, even when I explained who I was and what I was doing, they continued to treat both of us as not just suspects but as criminals.

"It was not only totally ridiculous but also highly embarrassing and totally humiliating. Simply because we stood our ground and insisted that we had done absolutely nothing wrong, they decided to place my friend in handcuffs.

"I am currently having to use crutches to walk as I recently underwent surgery on a knee injury and - astonishingly - one of the officers even tried to grab the crutches in order to prevent me from 'escaping'.

"After what seemed like an eternity the police officers seemed to realise that they had made a mistake, acknowledging that I was a footballer with a Premiership club and not someone who was preparing to commit a crime."

Cheshire Police said that handcuffing the player's friend "was less than a proportionate reaction". The force has apologised to the two men.

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