Everton are investigating an alleged incident involving England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during a night out in Sunderland on Sunday.
Pickford was back in his home city on a day off following Everton’s victory at West Ham United on Saturday when he allegedly became involved in a fracas with a member of the public. The incident was filmed on a camera phone by a bystander. In the video onlookers can be heard shouting “Jordan” as a fight breaks out before the man, believed to be Pickford, is dragged away.
His club have opened an internal investigation into events, only weeks after the manager, Marco Silva, said the 25-year-old needed to improve his “emotional balance” following an erratic display against Newcastle.
A statement released by Everton read: “The club has been made aware of an alleged incident involving one of our players and we are looking into the matter.”
Pickford was visiting family in Sunderland for Mother’s Day despite having tickets to see his former club play Portsmouth at Wembley in the Checkatrade Trophy final. Having watched the game he went out with family and friends to a bar where he is understood to have been verbally abused.
According to reports, Pickford was subjected to what was described as “good-natured banter” rather than any malicious criticism of some of his recent mistakes for Everton – being told he had “small arms” and “butterfingers”.
Pickford took the abuse well initially, posing for photographs while giving a V-sign to the man hurling the insults. However, at a different bar later on his fiancée was also insulted and that prompted an alleged fracas involving Pickford before he was led away by friends.