A Manchester United footballer has apologised for his "insensitive decision" after being pictured at a fancy dress party dressed as a suicide bomber.

Chris Smalling's spokesman insisted that the picture, which appears on the front page of Thursday's edition of The Sun newspaper, was "an attempted comedy play on the popular 'jager-bomb' drink" - a mix of Jaegermeister and Red Bull.

The photograph shows Smalling wearring a keffiyeh, false beard and a "bomb" vest made of drinks containers, a circuit board, wires and mobile telephone.

His spokesman told the Associated Press news agency that the costume was worn at a party at Smalling's home, which was attended by close friends. It consisted of empty bottles of Jagermeister "and cans of Red Bull strapped to his chest''.

But the statement said Smalling "fully accepts in hindsight it was an ill thought-out and insensitive decision, absolutely no harm was intended whatsoever and he apologises for any offence caused". 

His club declined to comment.

Source: Agencies