Sidebottom issues formal apology to team, fans

Collingwood vice-captain Steele Sidebottom has apologised to his teammates as well as the club’s members after the alcohol-fuelled incident which sees him currently banned.

The 29-year-old was handed a four-match ban by the AFL after he was found to have breached multiple COVID-19 protocols a fortnight ago.

According to a club statement, Sidebottom recently met with the club’s leadership group and the senior football department staff to discuss the incident, before issuing a formal apology to his teammates, football staff and broader club.

The veteran midfielder will complete a responsible consumption of alcohol course as soon as COVID-19 protocols allow him to do so.

Steele Sidebottom has officially apologised to his Collingwood teammates for his drunken COVID-19 breach (Getty)

Sidebottom was visibly overcome with emotion in a video statement released by the Magpies where he addressed the incident publicly for the first time.

“Today I had my first opportunity to speak to the playing group and the coaching staff,” he said in the video.

“I obviously take full responsibility for my actions and deeply apologise for those things that occurred

“Over the next few weeks I won’t be able to have an impact on-field, but I’ll be doing everything I can to help my teammates out to prepare for the games coming up.

Sidebottom will remain vice-captain of the club after a consultation with the club’s leadership group (Wayne Ludbey)

“Whatever I can do in meetings, on the training track, whatever it is, I’ll be there to help out.

“With my actions two weeks ago, I know that I’ve affected everyone at the footy club and everyone that supports the footy club outside, so my role going forward now is to just make amends for that and to try and work and get back all the trust from not only my teammates and everyone at the footy club, but also all the supporters out there.

“I really appreciate all the support that I’ve had over the last few weeks, and I guess for me now, I’m looking to put it behind me and get on with 2020.”

While there was pressure for Sidebottom to be stripped of his vice-captaincy, it appears that he will retain the role, with Collingwood considering the matter now closed.

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