May 22 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Hammers loan striker Andy Carroll accused by photographer of assault
Mystery surrounds an altercation involving West Ham United striker Andy Carroll following an incident in the early hours of Sunday morning in Dublin.
The 23-year-old is accused of attacking a photographer working for the Sun outside a fast-food restaurant in the Irish capital, but the club deny that any contact was made between Carroll and the man.
The Hammers players left for Dublin for their Christmas celebrations following Saturday’s 3-1 win over Chelsea.
They were staying at the five-star Fitzwilliam Hotel and visited the popular Coppers Nightclub in the city, before Carroll went on to a fast-food restaurant in the early hours.
It is alleged that outside the restaurant he attacked the photographer, gouging his right eye, while trying to grab his camera and hospitalising him.
“He was like a wild animal,” the photographer Paddy Cummins told the Sun. “I was screaming, ‘my eyes’, but he kept it up. The pain was incredible.”
However, West Ham’s official version of events paints a very different picture.
In a statement the club said: “Andy Carroll was in Dublin as part of a social trip with full permission of the management team.
“He agreed to have a number of pictures taken at the request of a photographer who was waiting in the street. Despite this, the photographer then carried on taking photos in the close proximity of Andy and was politely asked to stop by the private security team working on the trip.
“When he then continued taking more photos he was restrained by the security team for Andy’s safety.
“Eyewitnesses state at no point was there any physical contact between Andy and the photographer.
“The Garda (Irish police) took statements from the group back at the hotel and no further action was taken.”