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Former footballer Ian Bishop says gay rumors may have kept him from playing for England

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Ian Bishop

Former Manchester City and West Ham United midfielder Ian Bishop opened up to Manchester Evening News about gay rumors during his playing days. He calls the rumors "ridiculous" and said it may have kept him from playing for his country at the international level.

Nothing against gay people. People are free to be what they want and there’s no issue. It didn’t hurt me to be called it, it hurt me because it affected my life. ...

To go to every away ground and really get abused, I mean badly abused, and have to do your job and do it well – there was enough pressure on me to keep my place and that added to it.

The rumors surrounded Bishop and teammate Trevor Morley, who both joined West Ham United in the same week in 1989. Bishop did play for England's B team at one point, but he never made it to the national team. He has not played professionally since 2004.

Hat tip to the Gay Games.

PHOTO: Shaun Botterill /Allsport