Hope’s piece claims that an ‘abusive drinker’ was kicked by Karl Darlow after calling alopecia-sufferer Jonjo Shelvey a “bald c***” after the pair’s Northumberland pub crawl turned nasty in Morpeth.
The fact they were out on the lash ’10 hours’ before our flight left for a pre-season tour in China is pretty questionable – especially when we were humiliated 4-0 by Wolves a few days later – however I don’t think we can criticise Darlow for sticking up for Jonjo here.
After all, I think this is a fairly natural reaction given his teammate had his medical condition mocked by an abusive stranger.
It’s a bit of a long read, but here’s the full version of events from Craig Hope’s ‘exclusive’ for the Mail (see video clip via link below):
Newcastle United stars Jonjo Shelvey and Karl Darlow were involved in a 3am street fight where a rival was punched and kicked after alopecia-sufferer Shelvey was allegedly called a ‘bald c***’ following a pub crawl, MailOnline can reveal today.
Goalkeeper Karl Darlow is alleged to have kicked a man in the back during a brawl outside a Northumberland takeaway after an argument involving team-mate Shelvey.
The fracas in Morpeth kicked off when the millionaire midfielder responded to the ‘bald c***’ taunt by telling his abuser: ‘Go back to your council house, you peasant’.
The fight came just ten hours before the squad flew to China for the troubled Premier League club’s pre-season tour, which began with a 4-0 thrashing by Wolves yesterday.
In exclusive footage of the bust up, goalkeeper Darlow, wearing a black hoodie, shorts and white trainers, appears to aim a kick at a man who had been shoved to the ground after punches were thrown.
Shelvey, who is wearing a white cap and designer ‘slider’ flip-flops, tries force his way into the brawl before being pushed back to the pavement in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Newcastle’s highest paid player, who earns £70,000-a-week, had been in a takeaway when he was allegedly verbally abused about his lack of hair.
A source told MailOnline: ‘Jonjo Shelvey was in the takeaway when a group of lads called him a “bald c***”. He laughed it off and said, “‘Go back to your council house, you peasant”.
‘But a friend of Karl Darlow has then got protective and weighed in with a punch. It would appear Darlow has also got involved in the fight.
Shelvey is now getting some grief from the lads involved, although he was not involved in the actual altercation.’
Shelvey and Darlow, who are currently in China, had been drinking with friends including fellow player Jack Colback in the Black Bull pub.
One woman watching the fight from across the road yelps and says ‘that was cheeky’, referring to Darlow as ‘that keeper guy’, after he aims a kick.
As Shelvey is pushed away from the skirmish another man says: ‘Jonjo won’t do anything, he’s a skinny p***k’.
Witnesses filming the row in a takeaway can be heard exclaiming: ‘sh**ing hell’ as the man was pushed into the road in the scuffle after a 20 minute squabble between 2.50am and 3.10am on Saturday.
Newcastle’s Premier League players flew to China for their pre-season tour ten hours later, at 10am, and were thrashed 4-0 by Wolves on Wednesday in Nanjing.
A source has said they had been playing golf during the day before heading out for some drinks.
Newcastle United declined to comment but are sure to investigate. The players are likely to be asked to explain their actions when they return from China this weekend.
MailOnline has asked the players’ agents to comment on the claims. Northumberland Police have said they were not called to the incident.
Whether they were massively provoked or not, this isn’t exactly what we wanted to read in the midst of what has already been a shambolic summer so far – both off and on the pitch.