Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland footballer Gavin Whyte 'embarrassed beyond words' after Belfast incident

  • Michael O’Neill and Oxford United criticise 22-year-old’s conduct

  • Police 'conducting enquiries into the matter'

Northern Ireland’s Gavin Whyte (John Walton/PA)
Northern Ireland’s Gavin Whyte (John Walton/PA)

Northern Ireland international Gavin Whyte said he was "embarrassed beyond words" after an incident in Belfast describing as a "moment of stupidity" and one he will regret.

Whyte is set to be disciplined by his club, Oxford United, after a video of the weekend incident emerged on social media on Monday night. Police are also conducting inquiries.

"It was a moment of stupidity from me, one I regret very much and which I have to try and learn from," he said.

"I can only apologise to anyone I offended and to those I let down by my behaviour. I am embarrassed beyond words but all I can do is try to move on, concentrate on my football, and make sure that nothing like this ever happens again."

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill said Whyte’s behaviour was “clearly unacceptable” and “far below the standards” expected of a footballer who represents his country.

Oxford United also branded his conduct unacceptable, insisting it was “totally out of character” and a “moment of madness”.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill condemned Gavin Whyte’s behaviour as ‘clearly unacceptable’ (Tim Goode/PA)

International boss O’Neill said: “I know that Oxford United will discipline him appropriately for this significant mistake and both his club and the Irish FA will put in place measures to make sure that he learns from it.”

He is a great kid and I hope the fans can forgive him for one moment of madness Oxford United manager Karl Robinson

Oxford United manager Karl Robinson condemned the player’s actions.

“It is totally out of character,” he said.

“Gavin is a quiet, respectful young man who is totally devastated by this. I have rarely heard anyone so remorseful for something that he regrets and knows he shouldn’t have done.

“Clearly he had drunk too much, and we will deal with that too, but whether you are a footballer or not that sort of behaviour is wrong on every level.

“We will sit down with Gavin today and we will remind him in no uncertain terms of his responsibilities.

“We have psychological and behavioural support here to help him get through this. He is a great kid and I hope the fans can forgive him for one moment of madness.”

Whyte was formerly with Irish League side Crusaders.

In a statement, a PSNI spokesman said: "Police are aware of a video on social media and are conducting enquiries into the matter."

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