Gabriel Agbonlahor quits as Aston Villa captain
Gabriel Agbonlahor has stepped down as Aston Villa captain and apologised to supporters for his recent behaviour.
The forward is currently suspended by the club after being pictured partying in a hotel on the day their relegation from the Premier League was confirmed.
Agbonlahor was also the subject of an investigation by the club earlier this month after he was spotted with a shisha pipe while on a break in Dubai.
No action was taken against the 29-year-old in relation to that incident, but he was subsequently ordered to undergo a fitness programme.
He duly missed the defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on April 16 which saw Villa relegated to the Championship and left fans furious when pictures emerged of him partying with friends in London later that day.
Villa are close to completing their investigation into his behaviour on the night in question and, ahead of any punishment the club decide to hand out, Agbonlahor has issued a heartfelt apology.
He wrote on his Instagram page: "I want to begin with an apology to all Aston Villa fans for my actions in recent weeks, especially at a time when it is devastating for everyone involved with the club.
"I am stepping down as club captain with immediate effect, as I do not deserve to carry out such a role any-more. This role was a huge honour to me and it hurts to have lost it.
"I have spent 16 years at Aston Villa and played some memorable games. My celebrations and passion, especially in games against local rivals, shows my loyalty to Aston Villa.
"I am asking Aston Villa fans for forgiveness as I'm hurting as well despite reports and photos in the press making out otherwise.
"I agree my performances this season have not been good enough but I will be working hard to make things right! Up The Villa, Villa Till I Die!"
Regardless of outcome of the club's current probe Agbonlahor will not feature in Saturday's Premier League trip to Watford, as Villa look to avoid a club record-equalling 11th straight defeat.
Agbonlahor is Villa's longest serving current player and their record Premier League goalscorer, having netted 73 times since his debut in 2006.
The club are also investigating Jores Okore after the defender said he was not in the right frame of mind to be on the bench for this month's 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth. The Denmark international is training with the under-21s.