Former Liverpool winger John Barnes has been evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother house after a controversial stay on the Channel 5 television show.
The 54-year-old was voted out by his fellow housemates and left the house through a backdoor eviction rather than on the usual Friday night live programme.
Barnes admitted he did not have a problem with his exit from the show, saying "There are no hard feelings whatsoever because I know it is a hard decision for them to take."
However, the ex-England international made headlines on the outside world after claims that comments he made inside the house were homophobic.
John Barnes' Big Brother controversy
Barnes was accused of homophobia following comments made during a conversation with fellow contestant Shane Jenek, who is better known as Australian drag queen Courtney Act.
The former footballer claimed that heterosexual men can often feel uncomfortable around homosexual men, telling Jenek that “There’s this uncomfortable feeling. They’re thinking, ‘You’re going to make a move on me, you’re going to touch me’."
Hi, there has been a lot of discussion about the conversation between John and Shane J yesterday. Friends and family of John have had a chat about it and written down their opinions, Any thoughts? @radiotimes @huffpostuk @dailymirror @paulsinha @indiawilloughby @dailymailuk #CBB pic.twitter.com/yVxTmbnKvu — John Barnes (@officialbarnesy) January 21, 2018
The comments caused a lot of uproar from fans on Twitter as well as gay rights groups who claimed that his remarks were offensive. Barnes' family and friends released a statement in reaction to the backlash, stating that "It seems quite clear to us from the discussion as presented on the show that John is not offering the statements as reflections of his own feelings but as an explanation (but not justification) of the mentality that can cause some straight men to hold homophobic beliefs."
Who else is on Celebrity Big Brother?
Barnes was one of 16 contestants on the 21st season of Celebrity Big Brother in the UK, which was titled Celebrity Big Brother: Year of the Women to mark 100 years of women's suffrage.
Eight female contestants entered the house on day one, with eight males joining three days later. The female contestants included Coronation Street actress Amanda Barrie, politician Ann Widdecombe, newsreader India Willoughby, former police constable Maggie Oliver, journalist Rachel Johnson and reality television stars Ashley James, Jess Impiazzi and Malika Haqq.
As well as Barnes and Courtney Act, the males who entered the house were comedian Danny O'Reilly, singers Ginuwine and Shane Lynch, dancer Wayne Sleep, as well as reality television stars Andrew Brady and Jonny Mitchell.
The show averaged around 2 million viewers each night on Channel 5 amid rumours that this summer's non-celebrity edition could be the last ever Big Brother.
John Barnes' playing career
Jamaica-born John Barnes moved to London as a 12-year-old, and made his Football League debut at 17 after signing for Watford. He played 233 league games for the Hornets before moving to Liverpool in 1987 for £900,000.
Barnes achieved his greatest on-field success while at Anfield, helping Liverpool to two league titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup. He spent 10 seasons with the Reds, playing 314 times in the top-flight as the First Division became the Premier League.
Stints at Newcastle United and Charlton Athletic followed in the latter years of his career, before he turned to management. He teamed up with former Reds boss Kenny Dalglish at Celtic for his first managerial job, and later took charge of the Jamaica national team and Tranmere Rovers.
Barnes also gained off-field fame during his time as an England international, providing the rap for New Order's 1990 World Cup song 'World in Motion', which topped the UK singles charts. He scored 11 times in 79 appearances for the Three Lions and played at the 1986 and 1990 World Cups as well as the 1988 European Championship.
In 2006, he finished in the top five Liverpool players in a poll conducted by the club's official website called '100 Players Who Shook The Kop'.