A statement has, this evening, been released on behalf of Wayne Rooney in which the England captain has apologised for "inappropriate" images that have surfaced in the press this week.
The England and Manchester United captain found himself on the front page of The Sun newspaper earlier this week when images surfaced appearing to show him extremely drunk on Saturday night.
The photos - reportedly taken when Rooney and England teammate Phil Jagielka wondered into a wedding at the hotel the England team were staying in - have been the subject of much debate since and, clearly, Rooney and his representatives felt they had to address the issue.
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The statement, released on behalf of Rooney to Press Association Sport, reads:
"Naturally Wayne is sorry that pictures taken with fans have been published today.
"Although it was a day off for the whole squad and staff, he fully recognises that the images are inappropriate for someone in his position.
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"Earlier today Wayne spoke privately to both Gareth Southgate and Dan Ashworth to unreservedly apologise.
"He would like to further extend that apology to any young fans who have seen these pictures."
Rooney was not going to play a part in England's Tuesday night friendly against Spain even before the images became public, having been released from the squad by Gareth Southgate due to a reported minor injury.
Nevertheless, the photos of England's captain seemingly worse for wear did not go down well with a lot of people - many of whom argued a player in Rooney's position should have shown a better example.
In releasing the statement this evening, the veteran forward will hope to appease those critics who have been quick to jump on his back over the past few days.
Whether it has the desired effect, only time will tell.
Rooney has endured a tough season to date, having lost his place in the Manchester United team and been dropped by Southgate for England's recent World Cup qualifier against Slovenia.
He had, though, returned to captain his country in Friday's 3-0 win over Scotland and has also racked up a couple of assists for United in recent weeks to put himself back in contention under Jose Mourinho.
The off the field incident this week, then, is exactly what England's all-time top goalscorer didn't need.
Do you think Wayne Rooney was in the wrong this week? Have your say in the comments below...
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