Rickley Park Primary School has announced it has ‘temporarily suspended’ its sponsorship of MK Dons footballer Samir Carruthers after an incident at the Cheltenham Festival.

Images on the Daily Mail Online appear to show the former Aston Villa youngster relieving himself into an empty pint glass and leaving it on a balcony.

He has since apologised for the incident and has confirmed the club have told him he will face a punishment for it.

A statement from Rickley Park Primary School read: “We are proud of our association with Milton Keynes Dons. They are one of Milton Keynes’ huge success stories and play a very key role in our community. Many of our children also look up to the club, and the players who represent the club, hoping that one day they too will step out on the pitch at Stadium:MK.

“Our association with MK Dons, through our 2015-16 player sponsorship of Samir Carruthers, has brought many benefits to the school. We originally decided to make the link the MK Dons to provide our children with a strong role model in our local community – someone that they can look up to and aspire to be like. And the link has brought other benefits like the coveted prize for our Spring Writing Competition, MK Dons players visiting the school, reduced price tickets for our children (and parents) to go to the stadium to experience football first-hand and a steady supply of programmes for our library – which have provided excellent reading material for some of our more reluctant readers!

“We were obviously very disappointed to see the negative news articles today featuring our sponsored player. This was very irresponsible behaviour and certainly not setting the example that we would expect from a role model for our children.

“However, we also note that Samir has apologised for his actions – which is the right example to set to all children – admit your mistakes, take your punishment and try hard to show that you will not do it again. We are also reassured that the club, who will be making a statement in the next few hours, have taken this very irresponsible behaviour very seriously and feel as let down about the incident as we do. To their credit, the club have kept the school fully informed over the course of the day and understand that Samir is a role model for our children, and children across Milton Keynes.

“In the short term we have temporarily suspended our link with Samir Carruthers, although not with the MK Dons. I am sure that the club will do all it can to restore the positive image of football in Milton Keynes, that has been dented by this error of judgement by Samir and we also hope that he will do what we say to the children and show, in his actions in the future, that he is really sorry for this unfortunate incident.

“The Governors will keep the school’s longer term links with the player and the club under review.”

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