Everton's Cahill dedicates goal to jailed brother
Everton have defended Tim Cahill after his controversial goal celebration against Portsmouth.
The Australian midfielder crossed his wrists as though he had been handcuffed and later revealed he was dedicating the goal - Everton's second in a 3-1 win at Goodison Park - to his older brother Sean, who was jailed for six years in January for partially blinding a man.
It is the first time that Cahill, 28, has publicly acknowledged the sentence. He told Sky Sports: 'Basically, it's for my older brother. Everyone knows my situation and I am just proud that he is happy and I am happy and I'm thinking of him always. 'My family means a lot to me and so does this football club. It's been a bit emotional but it's good.'
An Everton spokesman defended Cahill from criticism that the celebration might be seen as inappropriate. Saying that he knew some would not 'be in favour' of the celebration, he said: 'Goal celebrations are a personal matter and up to the player to decide - no-one dictates what the player can do as long as he stays within the laws of the game, as long as it doesn't result in a caution. 'It clearly was a very personal thing for Tim Cahill. 'Anyone who saw the pictures will see he was emotional and it meant a lot to him. 'As long as he keeps getting the opportunity to score goals, that is important. 'Tim is a highly intelligent young man and makes his own decisions and saw fit to send a message to his brother, if that's what he was doing. 'He is a very articulate young man and will have weighed up the pros and cons and decided to do it because it was a personal and emotional matter. 'I am sure Tim was fully aware that some people would not be in favour of what he did before he did it.' The midfielder also punched the corner flag several times - his trademark celebration.
Oh, by the way, there is a picture of me and Tim Cahill up at my friends restaurant, The Carleton Grange. After Tim scored a goal in the World Cup the picture was put on top of the Grange cash register. Cahill promptly scored the winning goal a few minutes later.