Wayne Rooney has given his backing to Harry Maguire’s ‘character’ after the Manchester United captain was handed a suspended jail sentence for his involvement in an incident whilst on holiday in Greece.
The England international was this week found guilty of repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery, violence against public employees and insult following an altercation on the Greek holiday island of Mykonos, where he was subsequently handed a suspended jail sentence of 21 months and 10 days.
The account of the prosecution was a total contrast to that of Maguire’s defence, who have now lodged an appeal against the decision with Manchester United releasing a statement confirming the attempt to overturn the conviction – the club confirming that the defender will continue as captain ahead of the new season.
Former Red Devils’ captain Rooney has now given his backing to the 27-year-old, insisting reports of the incident are ‘out of character’ and has warned the public against judging the defender too quickly as he awaits the verdict of an appeal.
“Knowing Harry the way I know him, it’s completely not his character,” Rooney told talkSPORT.
“It’s out of character, everything that was reported to have happened.
“I couldn’t get my head around how it went to court, he was found guilty and sentenced all within the space of about two hours… how has that happened?
“Harry’s not that type of person at all. He was out there with his girlfriend, his family and friends and their girlfriends, so it’s not a group of lads, where sometimes things happen.
“So, in my opinion, something has gone on that has maybe provoked him.
“It’s just out of character, it’s not him at all. I just think as a nation, as people, we are too quick to judge.
“Obviously he was found guilty and there’s an appeal, so at the minute there’s no charges now against his name until the next court date.”
Rooney spoke further on the pressures of dealing with the spotlight, with the former England captain no stranger to bad publicity and issues with the law during a career spent at the very highest level.
“It’s not easy,” he added. “Obviously I’ve made my own mistakes and I’ve had my issues with the law, both in England and abroad as well, so I know how difficult that can be. But I just think with Harry, he’s not that character at all.
“I’ve also heard people saying why doesn’t he hire a villa and stay in a villa, but why should he? He’s a human being!
“I’ve only ever had security once in my whole career, and that was coming off the back of Euro 2004.
“You don’t think like that, when you’re out with your girlfriend or your wife you don’t think of any trouble occurring. So for me something’s gone on that isn’t right, and as a human being you might react…”