Gavin Whyte booting one for Oxford United. Picture: Getty Images
Gavin Whyte booting one for Oxford United. Picture: Getty Images

Cops to probe Ireland star over "masturbating in street"

POLICE are set to probe Oxford footballer Gavin Whyte after footage emerged of him apparently masturbating in the street.

The shocking video, which emerged after Saturday's 2-2 draw with Fleetwood, shows the Northern Ireland international and a pal walking down the road, playing with their privates and singing.

Oxford officials are aware of the incident and will haul Whyte, 22, in for showdown talks on Wednesday (AEST).

A club statement read: "Oxford will today meet with Gavin Whyte and warn him as to his future conduct after an incident back home in Northern Ireland at the weekend.

"Gavin was filmed behaving in a way that is clearly unacceptable from a professional footballer and we will work with both Gavin and the Irish FA to ensure that he is aware of his responsibilities."

Under the Criminal Justice Act of 2003-04, masturbating in the street could be considered an offence called Outraging Public Decency.

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: "Police are aware of a video on social media and are conducting inquiries into the matter."

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill slammed Whyte and vowed to discipline the winger.

He said: "Gavin's actions in the video are clearly unacceptable and fall far below the standards that we expect from a Northern Ireland international.

Northern Ireland in January is a cold, cold place.
Northern Ireland in January is a cold, cold place.

"I know that Oxford United will discipline him appropriately for this significant mistake and both his club and the Irish FA will put in place measures to make sure that he learns from it."

Oxford manager Karl Robinson admitted he was shocked by the video and claimed his star player must have been drunk.

He said: "It is totally out of character.

"Gavin is a quiet, respectful young man who is totally devastated by this: I have rarely heard anyone so remorseful for something that he regrets and knows he shouldn't have done.

"Clearly he had drunk too much, and we will deal with that too, but whether you are a footballer or not that sort of behaviour is wrong on every level.

"We will sit down with Gavin today and we will remind him in no uncertain terms of his responsibilities.

"We have psychological and behavioural support here to help him get through this. He is a great kid and I hope the fans can forgive him for one moment of madness."

The sick video comes as 21st place Oxford are fighting for their future, having been served with their third winding-up order in ten months.

Whyte, 22, joined Oxford from Northern Ireland Football League Irish Premiership side Crusaders in the summer and has scored six goals in all competitions.

He made his Northern Ireland debut in a 3-0 win over Israel in September, scoring after just 108 seconds.