Manchester United legend Paul Scholes threw a huge party for his son’s 21st birthday, despite further lockdown rules being imposed in Oldham.
The football coach went full steam ahead for celebrations for his son Arron’s 21st, even though coronavirus lockdown regulations were imposed across the North West on the same day.
The party at Scholes’s £3.5million Oldham home was said to have started at 7pm and gone on until 2.30am, The Sun reported.
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes (above) threw a party for his son Arron’s 21st birthday at his £3.5million home in Oldham
Alicia Scholes shared photographs of the partygoers, who are ignoring social distancing rules while dancing at the birthday bash
The birthday bash came just 19 hours prior to the new lockdown rules being introduced at midnight on Thursday.
People across the North West have been banned from gathering in other people’s homes or gardens, including Oldham which has introduced tighter lockdown restrictions.
Photographs, posted on his daughter Alicia Scholes’s Instagram, show attendees disregarding social distancing as they danced and posed for pictures.
One Instagram user commented under Alicia’s posts: ‘How is Arron having a party at your house when Oldham is in lockdown between 2 households?’
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has since accused the ex-England midfielder of ‘reckless behaviour’.
He said: ‘You’d expect a much more responsible attitude from a role model who has worn an England shirt 66 times.
‘The people of Oldham are fully aware reckless behaviour like this has caused the return to lockdown.
‘While young people are less likely to suffer serious complications if they are infected, they may spread it to somebody for whom the consequences could be very severe.’
Some people who live near Scholes, 45, also accused him of ‘ignoring all the rules’, adding that the party was ‘madness’.
The birthday celebrations went ahead despite new coronavirus lockdown regulations being imposed across the North West on the same day
Paul Scholes posted a throwback picture on his Instagram, wishing his son Arron a happy 21st birthday
One person claimed that the family were initially going to have a ‘big party at a hotel’, but cancelled it after the new advice was announced.
The local told The Sun: ‘It’s madness. They have ignored all the rules because they wanted to go ahead with it.
‘What about all the people who haven’t been able to go to funerals or get married in front of their friends because of the lockdown?
‘Loads of people have had to cancel their birthday parties — why is Paul Scholes’ son different?
‘Paul has a reputation as a down to earth, normal guy. He’s loved by millions of United fans and should be setting an example.’
The local also said that Scholes should ‘hang his head in shame’ at his ‘selfish behaviour, as the partygoers could now go on to ‘potentially infect’ others.
Oldham introduced tighter coronavirus restrictions following a 240 per cent surge in cases.
Official NHS statistics show 119 people were diagnosed with Covid-19 in the Greater Manchester town in the week up to July 25, equating to a rate of 50.5 cases per 100,000 people.
Council bosses have urged all of the borough’s 235,000 residents to not let any visitors into their home for at least two weeks.
The party at Scholes’s £3.5million Oldham home was said to have started at 7pm and gone on until 2.30am, according to a local
Alicia Scholes posted glamorous photographs of the birthday bash at the family’s Oldham home on her Instagram, causing outrage from other social media users
They are keen ‘to prevent a strict local lockdown being put in place’ like that seen in Leicester, which has yet to be freed from the restrictions.
Everyone living in the Greater Manchester borough has also been asked to keep two metres apart from friends and family when seeing them outside.
Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey urged people to follow the new coronavirus regulations.
He said: ‘We understand the frustration of not being able to continue social lives, or visit friends and family, however the risk of coronavirus is still present and attending events in large groups is in breach of Covid legislation.
‘The only way to stay safe and protect your family and loved ones is by following the guidelines.’
Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said: ‘Anyone can get coronavirus and anyone can spread it.
‘That is why it is so important everyone observes the new restrictions. This includes not seeing friends and family in each other’s homes and gardens.’
The local council said a significant proportion of recent cases involve multiple individuals testing positive within a household.
Partygoers were pictured collecting food from a van, called ‘The Grill’, during Arron’s 21st birthday celebrations
Arooj Shah, deputy leader of Oldham Council, said: ‘We’re urging residents to take the risk of coronavirus seriously and to stick to the guidelines.
‘We know people across Oldham desperately want to see their friends and family, and get back to normal.
‘But these restrictions are essential if we are to stop the spread of coronavirus and prevent a strict local lockdown being put in place, as we have seen elsewhere in the country.’
Hosting a party at your home is illegal, according to government rules, meaning that those attending could be fined £100 and police can shut the gathering down.
Katrina Stephens, director of public health for Oldham, urged anyone with symptoms of the coronavirus – namely a fever, persistent cough or loss of taste and smell – to get a test.
She added: ‘If we all do our bit and stick to the restrictions now, we can help stop the spread of coronavirus, and protect ourselves and our loved ones.’