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Page last updated at 19:17 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 20:17 UK

Healy apology over flute gesture

David Healy pictured during the pre-season game against Celtic
Healy made the gesture in front of Celtic fans at a pre-season game

Fulham and Northern Ireland striker David Healy has apologised for his flute-playing gesture during a game against Celtic.

The 28-year-old pretended to play a flute in an apparent mimic of an Orange band member on Saturday.

He told Ulster Television: "I am supposed to be a role model and I can only apologise.

"It was one of those incidents that someone said something and I made a silly gesture, which I regret."

Healy added: "I can guarantee from my point of view it will never happen again."

Fulham and the Irish Football Association (IFA) are looking into the incident.

Healy's agent claimed the action was a response to stick he was receiving from some of the visiting fans at Fulham's Craven Cottage ground.

IFA chief executive Howard Wells is waiting to speak to Healy before making any judgment.

"I put a call into David to speak to him," he said. "I'll speak to Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, to see his take on it and I shan't be jumping to any conclusions."

Fulham are also making inquiries over the incident.

A club spokesman said: "The team is in Korea for pre-season. The club is looking into the alleged incident."

Healy was awarded an MBE earlier this year for services to football and the community in Northern Ireland after scoring a record 13 goals during his country's bid to reach Euro 2008.

see also
N Ireland star Healy awarded MBE
13 Jun 08 |  Northern Ireland

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