Walker escapes punishment over ‘hippy crack’

FORMER Sheffield United 
defender Kyle Walker has assured England coach Roy Hodgson he intends to stay clear of nitrous oxide in the future.

Tuesday, 10th September 2013, 9:07 am
Kyle Walker

England international Walker admitted to “poor judgment” after photographs emerged of him taking a legal high by inhaling the gas known as ‘hippy crack’ through a balloon on a night out in Sheffield, but the Football Association say he will face no disciplinary action.

Although not illegal, there are health risks associated with the substance, which it appears Walker was not aware of at the time.

These have now been pointed out to the 23-year-old, who has assured Hodgson it will not happen again.

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“Kyle Walker has expressed his regret for an error of judgment when inhaling nitrous oxide earlier this year,” said an FA statement.

“The FA and England manager have spoken to Kyle about the matter and he has assured us it will not happen again.

“Inhaling nitrous oxide is not illegal, but we recognise the associated dangers. Kyle has accepted this mistake. He will not face any action under the England Player Code of Conduct.”

“Now I know the health risks, it was poor judgment on my part,” Walker stated on his Twitter page.

“I won’t be doing this again and hope that no one else is influenced into putting their health at risk by my actions.”

Walker joined Spurs in July 2009 along with Kyle Naughton for a combined fee of £9m, but was loaned back to the Blades for the 2009-10 season as part of the deal.

He was named the PFA’s Young Player of the Year in 2012 and has won seven caps for England since making his debut against Spain in 2011.

Walker won his seventh cap in Friday’s 4-0 win over Moldova and with Glen Johnson and Phil Jones both ruled out through injury, seems certain to start tonight’s game when England need to avoid defeat to keep control of their World Cup fate.

“It’s important to bear in mind that Kyle is a young lad,” said PFA deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes.

“Growing up in the public eye, not only will you see successes but you’ll also see the mistakes that he’s made. He is obviously very contrite about this.

“He’s made a full apology and more importantly he’s made it clear that he’s aware of the dangers and he’ll transmit that to other youngsters out there.

“The important thing to remember is that he hasn’t committed a crime and it’s not on the banned list.

“Having said that, it’s something that’s certainly not desirable for a footballer or a youngster to be doing.”