Derby

Derby County's Stephen Bywater in apology over 'art'

A championship footballer has apologised after neighbours complained about an art installation at his home in a Derbyshire village.

Derby County goalkeeper Stephen Bywater has a decorated portable toilet and horse box in his garden, visible from the street.

Mr Bywater also had two inflatable sex toys on the installation but has now removed them in response to complaints.

In a statement released through Derby County FC, Mr Bywater apologised.

"Although I consider this a private issue, I would like to apologise to any supporters and local residents in Derbyshire who have been offended," he said.

Image caption Mr Bywater said he never intended to upset his neighbours

"It was and is still my view that my actions were made as a private citizen and in no way linked to Derby County Football Club.

"However, now it has been brought into the public domain, I acknowledge that this does not reflect well on me as a professional or the club in general."

The 29-year-old has now covered the artwork with a tarpaulin.

He added: "It has never been my intention to cause any upset to any of my neighbours. Art is a hobby of mine and it is being practised in the confines of my own home.

"Now that the artwork has been covered, I hope this will bring an end to the matter."

In a statement, Derby County said the club "completely disassociates itself with this type of behaviour".

"This is not the type of conduct we expect from one of our players," it added.

In 2007, Mr Bywater caused controversy when he spelled out a swear word while appearing as a studio guest on a Sky Sports programme.

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