Saturday 22 July 2017

Footballer's garden art red-carded

Stephen Bywater's garden artwork has been shown a red card by his neighours
Stephen Bywater's garden artwork has been shown a red card by his neighours

An artistically-minded Championship goalkeeper has been forced to cover up his garden masterpiece after neighbours deemed it a red card offence.

Derby County's Stephen Bywater created the installation - complete with blow-up doll and spray-painted portable toilet and horse box - in the garden of his home in the Derbyshire village of Sutton-on-the-Hill.

But it left nearby residents feeling sick as proverbial parrots. And when his club failed to back-up his artistic endeavours, he bowed to critical opinion and covered up the work. It is now hidden under a layer of tarpaulin.

The neighbourly dispute reportedly began late last year, after the Rams keeper began to construct his installation at the home he shares with wife Zoe.

It consists of a horse box daubed with graffiti proclaiming "piece & love", bed mattresses, a traffic cone, portable toilet block and rubber sex doll.

A 75-year-old neighbour told the Derby Evening Telegraph: "It is horrible. We were away on holiday when he put it up. Our neighbours sent us pictures to show us what he had done and my wife didn't want to come home."

At one point, officers were called in following complaints from those living nearby, the newspaper reported.

And it appears that his club also failed to see the merit of his artistic creation.

In a statement given to journalists, Derby County said the club "completely disassociates itself with this type of behaviour".

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