Oxford City striker Lee Steele did not play at a match on Saturday after a remark about gay rugby star Gareth Thomas’s appearance in the Celebrity Big Brother house.

According to the Oxford Mail, Steele, 38, was not present after writing on Twitter: “I wouldn’t fancy the bed next to Gareth Thomas #padlockeda**ehole”.

The comment about the openly-gay retired sportsman, made on Thursday, was subsequently removed and Steele was not present at the weekend’s fixture, which his side won 2-1.

He had described the line-up of Celebrity Big Brother as a “gang of losers” on the site.

Ahead of entering the house, one-time Wales international Thomas said: “I will be myself and prove my family proud.”

The former professional rugby star became the sport’s only out gay player in 2009.

He issued a warning about his “Welsh temper”, and added he was “competitive at everything” before going into the Celebrity Big Brother house.

Lee Steele holds the record for the fastest-ever goal by a Leighton Orient player, managing to score in 12 seconds while playing for the club in 2004. He took until the following day to delete his anti-gay tweet.