Cobblers to investigate claims striker Collins was involved in ‘drunken incident’ at Cheltenham Festival

James Collins

James Collins

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The Cobblers have launched an investigation into allegations in the national media that striker James Collins was involved in a ‘drunken incident’ at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.

Collins, on loan from Shrewsbury Town, is alleged to have urinated into a glass before pouring the contents over the edge of the balcony on which he was standing during day one of the Festival.

Samir Carruthers

Samir Carruthers

The 25-year-old was enjoying a day out with Milton Keynes Dons midfielder Samir Carruthers, who was also accused of urinating into a glass, and other professional footballers.

The Cobblers are aware of the incident, and a club statement read: “Northampton Town Football Club have launched an investigation into claims that forward James Collins, currently on loan from Shrewsbury Town, was involved in a drunken incident at Cheltenham racecourse.

“As a club we take any such claims extremely seriously, and we expect the highest standards of behaviour at all times.

“We are unable to comment further until this investigation has been completed.”

In a tweet, Cheltenham Racecourse also said: “In regards to images of inappropriate behaviour from yesterday, we have cancelled their booking for today.”

Gloucestershire Police have confirmed they have been made aware of the incident which they labelled ‘disgusting’, but have confirmed no police action will be taken against Collins or anybody else.

“We have been made aware of this incident since it occurred at the racecourse yesterday (Tues),” read the statement.

“It was a disgusting and thoughtless act which is not acceptable.

“The man in question has had his booking for attending the races today (Wednesday 16 March) cancelled.

“No police action is being taken. We have not received any complaints relating to this incident and believe the action taken by the racecourse is appropriate and justifiable.”

Carruthers faced the media on Wednesday morning, and issued an apology for his part in the incident.

“I want to say sorry to everyone my family, the club, the chairman, the gaffer,” said the midfielder.

“I haven’t been raised to do something like that and I’ve let everyone down. I’ve let the community down and Milton Keynes down. I have to take the criticism that comes with it.

“It’s not something that should be laughed about, and it’s not an example I should be setting for kids. I’m meant to be a role model.

“I have to live by my actions now. I’m hurt by what I’ve done. It was a silly mistake, I have to take everything that comes with it now.”

Carruthers has been internally disciplined after a meeting with Dons chairman Pete Winkelman and manager Karl Robinson, and he added: “They’re very let down with me, and I’m being disciplined for it.

“I know how much they had faith in me not to do something like that.

“I’ve let them down massively, but it’s not just them - my team-mates and the club, everyone involved.

“I’m sorry to Cheltenham too - they took me and let me in, and I embarrassed everyone.”