Friday 9 December 2016

'He was on a night off duty': Wayne Rooney's spokesman defends star over hotel celebration

Simon Peach

Published 16/11/2016 | 16:14

Wayne Rooney was ruled out of England's friendly with Spain due to a knee injury
Wayne Rooney was ruled out of England's friendly with Spain due to a knee injury

A spokesman for Wayne Rooney has defended the England captain's celebrations following Friday's victory over Scotland.

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Photographs have been published of the Manchester United forward allegedly dropping in at a wedding party in the England team's hotel on Saturday.

The Sun newspaper claimed the 31-year-old had been drinking and that a picture showed him looking worse for wear.

The spokesman for the player said: "Wayne, along with the rest of the England squad, was on a night off duty.

"Rather than going out, he chose to stay at the team hotel to relax and celebrate a fine England victory against Scotland.

"During the course of the evening he was approached by numerous fellow guests for autographs and pictures.

"As he has always been, Wayne was happy to sign, pose for photos and chat with guests.

"It is sad that one or two of them have now sought to turn Wayne's friendly good nature to their advantage."

Rooney started the 3-0 victory over Scotland in World Cup qualifying but missed Tuesday's 2-2 friendly draw against Spain due to a knee injury.

After the game, interim manager Gareth Southgate stressed Rooney's absence was not connected to what emerged from the hotel.

Speaking in a press conference, Southgate said: "Wayne was injured. He picked up an injury on Friday, couldn't train Sunday and that's it."

Rooney is now being assessed by United's medical staff ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash against Arsenal.

Rooney has endured a tough campaign, finding himself in the unusual position of fighting for his place for club and country.

He ended a recent goal drought in United's recent Europa League clash at Fenerbahce and also impressed in a 3-1 win at Swansea prior to the international break.

On the international front he was dropped for dropped to the bench for last month's qualifier in Slovenia.

"I wouldn't start Wayne in this game anyway, so we'll decide which route to go," Southgate said at the time.

"At times too much of that responsibility has laid with Wayne and we need to share that. There are leaders already and other potential leaders who I think can step forward.

"And once you have a team full of those players then we'll have a lot of success."

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