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Rumours Premier League player was gay stopped his career from progressing

Rumours that a Premier League player was secretly gay stopped him making the England team and his career from progressing.

He thought he was on track to make it as an international footballer, but “ridiculous gay rumours” began to circulate following a near-fatal stabbing by his wife.

There was suggestions that former Man City and West Ham player Ian Bishop was involved in a relationship teammate Trevor Morley.

The 55 year old, who now lives in America, also hit out at the treatment he received at away grounds.

“I’ve never known something so ridiculous in my life,” said Bishop.

“It was never my story to tell. I got offered £60,000 from a newspaper to do a story. I should have just made one up but it wasn’t my story.

“We’d been on a night out with the wives so the rumours that his wife came home and caught me and him is totally atrocious. For 10 years, I got abused.

“We talk about it and laugh about it. It was just total garbage. What hurt me more than anything was that it affected our friendship.

“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.

“In a way, it could have affected my international prospects at the time. I just thought that if that’s the way they think, then I’m not bothered anymore.

“If they weren’t giving me a chance to prove myself, then sod them.

“That’s really how I felt at the time.

“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.

“I used to blow kisses to them and laugh and smile. At the end of the day I’m a man first and a footballer second.”

In a more recent interview, he said: “Whether people think I was good enough or not, I wasn’t going to displace Gazza (Paul Gascoigne),” he said.

“But other players did get caps and jumped ahead of me in the queue.

“And I heard rumours at the time that someone from the international set-up asked about my sexuality.

“My manager asked why I wasn’t in the next England B squad. Why, after one game, was I not involved?

“He [Morley] was my friend and I was watching him suffer. I was also getting abuse for no reason whatsoever,” he added.


1983–1984 – Everton
1984 → Crewe Alexandra (loan) – 4 games (0 goals)
1984–1988 – Carlisle United – 132 games (14 goals)
1988–1989 – Bournemouth – 44 games (2 goals)
1989 – Manchester City – 19 games (2 goals)
1989–1998 – West Ham United – 255 games (12 goals)
1998–2001 – Manchester City – 78 games (2 goals)
2001 – Miami Fusion – 23 games (0 goals)
2002 – Barry Town
2002–2003 – Rochdale – 8 games (0 goals)
2003–2004 – Radcliffe Borough – 10 games (1 goals)
2004 – New Orleans Shell Shockers – 16 games (3 goals)
Total – 592 games (36 goals)

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