Wellington Phoenix star Tim Payne was charged with drink driving after he allegedly escaped coronavirus lockdown and drove a golf buggy shirtless along a busy Sydney road. Picture: Getty Images
Wellington Phoenix star Tim Payne was charged with drink driving after he allegedly escaped coronavirus lockdown and drove a golf buggy shirtless along a busy Sydney road. Picture: Getty Images

A-League star’s ‘drunken joyride’ after breaking lockdown

An A-League football club is in disgrace after two players broke their coronavirus quarantine, were spotted in a golf cart and allegedly drove shirtless on a busy Sydney road with police alleging the driver was drunk.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal Wellington Phoenix and New Zealand international Tim Payne was arrested by NSW Police for allegedly joy-riding in the cart at 1am on Tuesday on Wakehurst Parkway on Sydney's northern beaches.

Payne allegedly blew mid-range PCA and was taken back to Mona Vale Police Station. He is due to front court in Sydney in June.

Teammate Oliver Sail was also in the golf cart but wasn't arrested or charged and is not accused by police of any wrongdoing.

 

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Wellington was based at the Sydney Academy of Sport, Narrabeen, while in self isolation to play A-League games. The pair is believed to have borrowed the golf cart from the Academy.

The competition has been now suspended because of the coronavirus, with Phoenix players returning home to New Zealand on Tuesday.

Concerned car passengers who drove past the pair immediately rang and complained to Police before a patrol car spotted the pair minutes later near Oxford Falls Road, about five kilometres from the Academy.

Passengers who contacted The Daily Telegraph claimed the players were shirtless with Paine driving.

Phoenix officials are furious the two players broke quarantine at such a sensitive time surrounding coronavirus. The team was in a two-week lock down so the A-League competition could continue.

Sail, the 24-year-old Phoenix goalkeeper, is also New Zealand national representative.

Academy management was considering further action against the pair for borrowing the golf cart.

 

 

Phoenix goalkeeper Oliver Sail after arriving in Sydney ahead of going into quarantine with the team. Picture: Getty Images
Phoenix goalkeeper Oliver Sail after arriving in Sydney ahead of going into quarantine with the team. Picture: Getty Images

Payne, 26, a Phoenix midfielder, could avoid attending court in Sydney by lodging his plea from New Zealand in absence.

Police eventually dropped the pair back to the Academy accommodation. There was no damage to the golf cart.

A Wellington Phoenix spokesman said: "We don't have any comment to make at this time."

Phoenix officials are expected to take serious action against the two players pending their investigations, while FFA will also investigate the incident.

Insiders claim the pair could face a heavy fine or suspension when the A -League competition resumes.

The Sydney Academy of Sport offers visiting teams training facilities including three playing fields, physio, indoor swimming pool, conference rooms, gymnasium and accommodation.

It is the same training venue used by the Manly Sea Eagles NRL club.

Wellington is running third on A-League competition ladder behind Sydney FC and Melbourne City FC.

The A-League was formally suspended on Tuesday. The Phoenix has won 11 of their 20 games this season.

 

 

Originally published as A-League star's 'drunken joyride' after breaking coronavirus lockdown