Mario Balotelli has thrown his weight behind a regional campaign to promote firework safety, after his bathroom caught fire due to the antics of one of his friends at the weekend.
The City striker hit the headlines for the right reasons on Sunday for a two-goal salvo in the 6-1 Manchester derby win at Old Trafford. But after also making the news the day before due to the incident at his house, Mario wanted to set the record straight.
And, with bonfire night less than two weeks away, Mario was keen to get an important message out.
“The newspapers got the story wrong about me and the fire at my house. I didn’t set any fireworks off, it was a friend of mine. I didn’t know anything about it until I heard the shouting coming from the bathroom," he said.
“Luckily, nobody was injured, and my friend apologised to me for the damage to my house. It was a really stupid thing for him to do, someone could have been really hurt, and I was really, really angry with him about it.
It is an important message that children should not mess with fireworks
"They can be very dangerous if they are not used in the right way. People should follow the firework code.”
A new campaign, TREACLE, has been launched in Manchester to give information about enjoying fireworks in a safe manner. More detail on the firework code and of local organised bonfire events is available on www.safe4autumn.com.