Former Don Carruthers regrets Sky Sports apology after Cheltenham incident

Samir Carruthers spoke out on a podcast about what happened on the balcony

Sunday, 21st February 2021, 3:44 pm
Updated Sunday, 21st February 2021, 3:56 pm
Samir Carruthers scored six goals for Dons

Former MK Dons midfielder Samir Carruthers said he wish he hadn't apologised on Sky Sports News for an incident at Cheltenham Racecourse in 2016.

In March 2016, Carruthers, who was 23 at the time, was photographed in an enclosure having urinated in a pint glass before pouring it over the side of the balcony. He was alongside Northampton Town defender James Collins at the time.

The incident made national headlines, and the following day, Carruthers appeared on television to make a formal apology. He was fined two weeks wages and pledged the money to charity.

Nearly five years later, Carruthers, now of Hemel Hempstead Town, has spoken out about the incident on the Lads Dads & Couple of Beers podcast about the controversy and the decision to apologise on Sky Sports.

"I wish I didn't do that," he said. "It made it into a bigger thing than it was. I was thinking 'I've not killed someone, here!'

"There was no-one below us – we were on the racetrack. We didn't throw it onto anyone. The toilets had been closed because someone had done a **** on the floor and there was nowhere to go to the toilet within a 20-minute walk. Everyone else was doing it because there was nowhere else to go. I'm not looking to make excuses.

"But I was in the limelight and was an easy target – and it's my fault for being in that situation. I look back on my life and know if I'd thought about it, I wouldn't have been in that situation. But there have been a lot of times in my life when I've got excited or haven't thought rationally, go and do something and it gets me in trouble."

The podcast focuses on mental health, and Carruthers, who made 138 appearances for Dons, opened up about how the incident impacted not only him, but his family too.

"You grow up. At the time it was very difficult. I honestly felt like I couldn't go outside my house. My dad was at work getting snapped, my mum didn't want to go to work because people would look at her like 'her son was the one at Cheltenham' – it was ridiculous. Kids my age at the time were doing 10 times worse!

"The next two to three months was very difficult. Every away ground I went to, people would chant at me, or I'd get cups thrown at me. My own club, team-mates and fans supported me.

"I've always said there is one place you can go where you can shout what you want at certain people and pretty much get away with it, and that's a football stadium!"