Rovers midfielder Lee Mansell had squared up to Gateshead player JJ O’Donnell, after an incident in a fifth division match last Friday.
It looked like they were about to start fighting when their faces
came within centimetres of each other – but instead Mansell planted a
kiss on his opponent’s lips.
Mr O’Donnell did not seem overly concerned by the kiss – not pulling
away until Mansell went in for another – but the referee gave the player
a yellow card and warned him about his conduct.
It seemed to help the team, however – who soared to a 3-2 victory over Gateshead.
The player told the BBC: “We either clash heads and he goes down or I end up doing something silly.
“I did it to defuse the situation. It’s the first time I’ve been booked for kissing someone.”
“I got in the car to go home and saw Twitter had lit up and my missus said: ‘What the hell were you thinking?’
“But we had a laugh and a joke about it with the lads afterwards.
It’s another thing to add to the list of daft things I’ve done on the
BT Sport – who posted the above clip on Twitter – joked about the
incident, writing: “Forget the mistletoe lads? @Official_BRFC’s Lee
Mansell goes in for a cheeky kiss with @GatesheadFC’s JJ O’Donnell!”
Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt recently said she knew of closeted players in
the Premier League, saying: “Yes they exist. And what they say is that
they are concerned about management, they are concerned about
sponsorship and they are also concerned about the kind of abuse they
would get from fans – not from their own fans – but fans from other
If your asking me, JJ O'Donnell didn't mind the kiss at all...