NEWCASTLE UNITED'S Irish pair of Leon Best and Stephen Ireland have apologised to the club and the Toon Army for their behaviour last weekend after they were photographed in a local nightclub on the eve of a Premier League game.
The Tup Tup Palace posted photos on their Facebook page of Best and Ireland, as well as Newcastle's Irish U19 cap Stephen Folan, flashing their six-packs at an event there last Friday night, less than 24 hours before Newcastle played Stoke in a vital Premier League game.
The trio will escape serious punishment as they were not in the matchday squad for the game due to injury.
"Although we had both been ruled out of the game at Stoke, and didn't travel with the team, we realise that going out to a bar was inappropriate ahead of Saturday's game and we fully regret doing so," Best and Ireland said in a joint statement on the club's website.
"We were asked to have our photograph taken and we removed our shirts as a tongue-in-cheek joke between friends, but of course the resulting coverage in the press suggests a far different night out.
"Whilst our actions were wrong, neither of us had consumed alcohol and we were out for only a very short period of time. However, we should never have put ourselves or the club in that position."