Jones issues apology after pig prank
Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones has apologized to Glenn Whelan after smashing his car windscreen in a mistaken act of retribution for a prank.
Jones took to Twitter on Saturday night to clarify the circumstances of an incident that has led to Stoke opening an internal investigation. Jones revealed he had spoken to teammates on Saturday, including Whelan, after he found a pig’s head wrapped in his clothes at the Premier League club’s Clayton Wood training ground on Friday.
The 28-year-old reacted by smashing Whelan’s windscreen, but he was left to apologize and offer pay for the damage after the Republic of Ireland international claimed he was not involved in the prank.
Stoke are yet to make a statement as to whether any player will be punished for the incident, which came ahead of their final game at Southampton, with Jones claiming the culprit was still yet to come forward.
Jones suggested he and Whelan had now moved on from the matter, denying also that the incident was racially motivated. Addressing the issue on his Twitter page, Jones wrote: "First off for all the people saying this had anything to with racism I’m not endorsing that.
"Secondly i’ve apologized to glen Whelan for the destruction of his property. For all the people that think that the pigs head wrapped in my clothes was banter great so is the broken window.
"As far as tension in the squad there’s nun (sic) myself and whelan had our thrash out and he said it wasnt him so I apologized n im paying for it. As for the person who did it no one has come fwd n apologized to me so I guess the joke was gd then. But as I said if you have the belly to take banter to that level be willing to accept the reaction. Thats final no more comments."
Stoke midfielder Brek Shea yesterday tweeted a picture of himself with the pig’s head with the words "locker room banter gone wild". The incident came just days after retiring striker Michael Owen had his car covered in eggs and flour by teammates.
Jones was also involved on that occasion, tweeting a picture of Owen’s car to his followers with the explanation that it was a "leaving present" for the former England star.
"For all the ppl that think I did Micheal Owen’s car I didn’t," Jones wrote on Saturday night. "I just posted the pics of it, I was never involved in any of the pranks in the dressing room."
Stoke opened an investigation into the matter last night although they were unavailable for comment when contacted by Press Association Sport this evening.
"The club takes seriously reports of an incident at our training ground this afternoon," the club said in yesterday’s statement. A full internal investigation will be carried out and those responsible for any unacceptable behavior will be dealt with in accordance with the club’s disciplinary procedures."
Whelan and Shea are both doubtful for Sunday’s match at St. Mary’s due to groin and calf injuries respectively, although Jones has been listed as fit to take his place.