Rob Elliot

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Everyone's heard stories about a groom not returning from their own stag do, but there aren't many who don't make it on the trip in the first place.

Step forward Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot.

Ahead of tying the knot with his fiancée this summer, Elliot and 16 friends organised a few days across the pond in Las Vegas.

However, an international call-up for the Republic of Ireland has put a spanner in the works, leaving Elliot out of his own party while his mates jet Stateside.

"All the lads are heading off without me," he told

"We planned the stag do more than a year ago, before I had any involvement with Ireland.

"You don't think that far ahead but in football you never know what's around the corner.

"At least there's a good reason why I'm not going on my own stag do, and I will be able to look back at it and laugh.

"I've had quite a bit of stick from my mates but you can't put a price on international football.

"You have to make sacrifices and I would never jeopardise my chance of playing for my country."

Ireland will play four friendlies over the next few weeks, with matches against Turkey (25th May), Italy (31st May), Costa Rica (6th June) and Portugal (10th June).

Even that has caused issues for Elliot and his bride to be, with their nuptials clashing with the second of those fixtures.

But the former Charlton man - who will be hoping to win his first senior international cap this summer - has been given special dispensation to go ahead with his big day.

"My wedding is right in the middle of it," explained Elliot.

"So I've spoken to the manager and goalkeeping coach, who have both been really good about the situation.

"I've been given a few days off for the wedding, which means I miss one match against Italy, and am then able to meet back up with the squad after.

"The wedding and stag do were planned before I'd even got in the squad, so you have to deal with it as it comes.

"My fiancée is okay with it all and says it's a good opportunity for me.

"We've delayed the honeymoon and she will meet me out in America after the final games to start from there.

"It's not what we'd planned but we will still enjoy it."