Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard.

London – Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard believes football fans are “stuck in a time of intolerance” and has spoken of the need for a “gay hero” in the sport.

Lindegaard, whose side take on West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday, wrote on his blog: “As a footballer I think that a homosexual colleague is afraid of the reception he could get from the fans. My impression is that players would not have a problem accepting a homosexual.

“Homosexuality in football is a taboo subject. The atmosphere on the pitch and in the stands is tough.

“The mechanisms are primitive and it is often expressed through a classic stereotype that a real man should be brave, strong and aggressive. And it is not the image that a football fan associates with a gay person. The problem is that a lot of fans are stuck in a time of intolerance. While the rest of the world has been more liberal, civilised and less prejudiced, the world of football remains stuck in the past.

“Homosexuals are in need of a hero. They are in need of someone who dares to stand up for their sexuality.” – Daily Mail