Nolan jumps to defence of team-mate Carroll as West Ham captain dismisses claims striker attacked photographerStriker has been accused of gouging and attempting to bite Paddy Cummins
West Ham are standing by the on-loan star amid the allegationsPolice in Dublin made no arrests after probing players
20:01 GMT, 4 December 2012
West Ham players have leapt to the defence of Andy Carroll after the striker was accused of assaulting a photographer during the squad’s Christmas party.
The 35million England star, on loan at Upton Park from Liverpool, has found himself in hot-water after the incident outside a nightclub in Dublin in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Christmas Carroll: Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan, striker Carroll, Carlton Cole and Matt Taylor pose with a female fan at a pub in Dublin dressed all in fancy dress white
Meal deal: Carroll – seemingly without his protective leg brace on – is pictured ordering food from Burger King at the end of his night out
Carroll is said to have lashed out at
33-year-old snapper Paddy Cummins, who was trying to take a shot of him
without his leg-brace.
The centre-forward is expected to miss the next two months with a knee injury and is required to wear the brace.
But in a show of team solidarity,
Carroll's team-mates will vouch for the 23-year-old when questioned by
club officials about the incident. The players will insist the striker
was provoked and showed no aggression towards the photographer.
Team-mate Kevin Nolan, who joined
Carroll on a trip to Whipps Cross Hospital in Essex on Tuesday to hand
out presents to sick children, said: ‘Someone is trying to fabricate a
story and that is the disappointing thing. It is part and parcel of what
we do and we understand that.
'We have had a fantastic weekend away
and you think you have come back with no problems but someone has made
something which was nothing as far as I was aware.'
Photographer Cummins alleges he was eye-gouged, pushed to the floor and that Carroll attempted to bite him during fracas.
Garda – Ireland’s police force – have launched an investigation into the incident, which is said to have taken place at 2.30am.
Carroll and a number of his team-mates have been interviewed by police but no arrests have been made.
Happy Hammers: Carroll and Nolan were put of a group to visit Whipps Cross Hospital in Essex
Injured: Carroll was wearing a protective knee brace on Saturday at Upton Park
On Tuesday West Ham released a statement backing Carroll.
It read: 'Andy Carroll was in Dublin as part of a social trip with full permission of the management team.
'Andy agreed to have a number of pictures taken at the request of a photographer who was waiting on the street.
'Despite this, the photographer then
carried on taking photos in the close proximity of Andy and was politely
asked to stop by the private security team working on the trip.
'When he then continued taking more
photos he was restrained by the security team for Andy’s
safety. Eyewitnesses state at no point was there any physical contact
between Andy and the photographer.
'The Garda took statements from the group back at the hotel and no further action was taken.'
Speaking about the disappearance of
the leg brace, Carroll’s agent Mark Curtis added: 'The leg brace was
outside his trousers inside the club because he wanted people to see it
so they wouldn’t knock into him. When he left he put it under the
'He can’t walk without it. He isn’t a daft lad and he wouldn’t be able to put weight on his leg without it.'
Carroll now looks likely to escape recrimination from police and West Ham over the incident.
Night out: Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan were part of West Ham's Christmas party weekend tour to Dublin, where they were pictured with Irish fans
Spell on the sidelines: Carroll is out for eight weeks with a knee injury