London: Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has accidentally shot a 21-year-old student with .22 air rifle.
Cole apparently turned up at the club’s Cobham training ground holding the weapon, and accidentally discharged the gun from a distance of 5ft.
Tom Cowan, a Loughborough University sports science student on a year’s work placement with Chelsea, was in the dressing room last Sunday when the incident happened.
The News of the World said that the intern was given medical treatment on the spot, but two days later the wound was still weeping and had to be treated again.
“It’s truly inconceivable that a Premier League footballer could bring a gun to the training ground. But Ashley pulled the rifle from a box and started larking about with it in the changing room,” a source told the tabloid.
“Cole didn’t know the gun was loaded, but it’s a disgrace. His behaviour beggars belief,” the source added.
Cowan was called into a meeting with “deeply worried” Chelsea officials on Wednesday to discuss the incident.