Carroll's Christmas bash: Police interview 35m West Ham striker over accusations of 'gouging' a photographer after night out that finishes at 5.30am… and where was his leg brace in Burger KingWest Ham striker accused of assaulting a photographerPremier League club back on-loan star amid the allegationsPolice in Dublin made no arrests after probing players
10:59 GMT, 4 December 2012
The Christmas party season has begun and Premier League footballers are already embroiled in trouble after Andy Carroll allegedly assaulted a photographer outside a nightclub.
West Ham were the first to get their festive celebrations in full swing as the players went on a weekend tour to Dublin following Saturday’s 3-1 win over Chelsea.
But Carroll, who is ruled out for eight weeks with a knee ligament injury, reportedly went berserk at snapper Paddy Cummins after he attempted to photograph the crocked England international leaving a popular nightspot without a leg brace he had been wearing earlier in the evening.
West Ham have released a statement backing the on-loan Liverpool striker amid the allegations and Carroll's team-mates are also ready to back him over the claims.
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
'Andy Carroll was in Dublin as part of a social trip with full permission of the management team,' a West Ham spokesman said:
'Andy agreed to have a number of
pictures taken at the request of a photographer who was waiting on the
'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.'
Cummins, who is 5ft 8in, claims the 6ft
3in on-loan Liverpool striker gouged his right eye while trying to grab
Cummins also claims the former Newcastle star went to bite him after knocking him to the floor.
The 33-year-old photographer was later admitted to hospital, where he offered a statement to the police.
‘He was like a wild animal,’ Cummins told The Sun.
Meal deal: Carroll – seemingly without his protective leg brace on – is pictured ordering food from Burger King at the end of his night out
Injured: Carroll was wearing a protective knee brace on Saturday at Upton Park
‘I felt this terrible pain in my eye as he gouged me.
‘I was screaming, “My eyes!” but he kept it up. The pain was incredible.’
A spokesman for the Garda press office in Dublin said officers received a report of an incident at 2.30am yesterday.
Officers at the city's Pearse Street station are investigating the incident.
It is understood members of the West Ham football team were spoken to by gardai following reports of an assault.
No arrests were made, the Garda spokesman said.
Carroll’s agent Mark Curtis, who is
also the representative for Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, declined to
comment over the alleged assault.
Speaking about the disappearance of
the leg brace he said: ‘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 trousers.
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
‘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.
'You can see from the shape of his trousers in the picture [published in The Sun] that it’s underneath.'
Allardyce’s side were staying at the
five-star Fitzwilliam Hotel and kicked-off their weekend in the Irish
capital’s Grafton Lounge before visiting the popular Coppers nightspot.
Spell on the sidelines: Carroll is out for eight weeks with a knee injury
Carroll was one of several first-team
Hammers’ players spotted by fans at the Quays pub in Temple Bar in the
early hours of Sunday morning said to be downing pints of Guinness and
According to the report in The Sun, Carroll refused to discuss the alleged spat with the photographer and insisted he’d had a ‘great night’.
West Ham told the newspaper that snapper Cummins was ‘restrained’ by security staff outside the nightclub in question but denied contact with the striker.