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Northern Ireland striker David Healy tonight apologised for his flute-playing gesture during a game against Celtic.

The Fulham forward pretended to play the instrument in an apparent mimic of an Orange band member during a friendly on Saturday.

He told Ulster Television: “I am supposed to be a role model and I can only apologise, I can guarantee from my point of view it will never happen again. It was one of those regrettable incidents that somebody said something and I made a silly gesture, which ultimately I regret.”

Fulham and the Irish Football Association (IFA) are looking into the incident.

Healy claimed his action was a response to stick he was receiving from some of the visiting fans at Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground.