Skip to main content

Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling apologizes for suicide bomber costume

updated 7:51 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling could feature for England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling could feature for England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
  • Chris Smalling apologizes for dressing as a suicide bomber
  • The Manchester United defender was making a play on the popular "jagerbomb" drink
  • Stoke City's Jermaine Pennant was last week pictured dressed as Osama Bin Laden
  • Smalling is hoping to be part of the England squad for the 2014 World Cup

(CNN) -- Manchester United football star Chris Smalling has apologized after pictures appeared in a British newspaper of the defender dressed as a suicide bomber at a private party.

The England international wanted to make a joke based around the popular "jagerbomb" drink by dressing in a costume decorated with empty bottles of jagermeister and cans of the energy drink Red Bull.

"Chris and his girlfriend hosted a fancy dress party to celebrate Christmas and their belated birthdays with close friends in the assumed privacy of his own home," Smalling's management company Wasserman Media Group said in a statement.

"He dressed in a costume consisting of empty bottles of jagermesiter and cans of Red Bull strapped to his chest in an attempted comedy play on the popular 'jager bomb drink'.

Portugal remembers football legend Eusebio
Footballer fights back after cancer

"Although he fully accepts in hindsight it was an ill-thought out and insensitive decision, absolutely no harm was intended whatsoever and he apologizes for any offense caused."

Smalling, who hopes to be part of the England squad which will travel to Brazil in June for the 2014 World Cup, is not the only footballer to have courted controversy with his choice of fancy dress outfit.

The girlfriend of Stoke City's Jermaine Pennant recently posted a picture of the winger dressed as Osama Bin Laden at a New Year's Eve party.

Outside of sport, Britain's Prince Harry issued an apology in 2005 after he was pictured dressed as a Nazi at a friend's fancy dress party.

Read: Ex-Germany soccer star reveals he's gay

Watch: "Gay slurs scared me"

Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.