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Wayne Rooney has apologised to his family and Derby after images emerged on Sunday appearing to show the former England striker asleep in a hotel room surrounded by a group of young women.
“I made a mistake,” the Derby manager Rooney told Sky Sports after the Championship club’s friendly against Real Betis on Wednesday. “I went to a private party with two of my friends and from me, I’d like to apologise to my family and the club for the images which were going round and I want to move forward on this.
“I’m grateful to Derby County for giving me this opportunity to get this club back to where it belongs, and I’ll do everything in my power to make sure I do that.”
Cheshire police confirmed on Tuesday that they had dropped a complaint of blackmail made concerning the images.
Rooney said: “It’s dealt with. I’m looking forward to moving forward and preparing for another game on Sunday.”
Derby host Notts County in a friendly on Sunday and start their Championship season the following Saturday at home to Huddersfield.
On Tuesday it emerged that Rooney had inadvertently further hampered Derby’s strained preparations for the new season after injuring one of his players during a recent training camp. The manager challenged Jason Knight during a practice game that left the Republic of Ireland midfielder with an ankle injury that could sideline him for up to three months.