Two men claim Stokes was protecting them

Ben Stokes England cricket

Ben Stokes allegedly saved two men following a homophobic attack

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Two gay men have come forth and announced that England all-rounder Ben Stokes saved them after they were the victims of a homophobic attack.

According to The Sun, Kai Barry, 26, and Billy O’Connell, 20, lauded Stokes for his actions outside Mbargo nightclub in Bristol in the early hours of September 25.

Barry and O’Connell told their story after two appeals from Avon and Somerset Police following the incident, which led to Stokes being detained overnight on suspicion of actual bodily harm.

“We were so grateful to Ben for stepping in to help. He was a real hero,” O’Connell told The Sun. “Kai feared he could be attacked. If Ben hadn’t intervened it could have been a lot worse for us.”

Barry, who claimed that he and O’Connell had been called “batty boys” added: “I’m not a fighter and we didn’t want a fight. We could’ve been in real trouble. Ben was a real gentleman.

“I’m not a violent person. And that’s probably why Ben Stokes stood up for me. He probably knew from the way I was speaking to them that I’m a friendly person.”

Speaking about the fight, O’Connell said: “It all kicked off. We tried to stop it but couldn’t do anything. Ben was amazing for standing up for us like that.

“Ben is a really nice guy and I hope he can still play for England in the Ashes. It would be awful his career was ruined over this. He was just trying to help defend Kai.”

Stokes, who broke his little finger during the fight, was withdrawn from the Ashes squad, but kept hold of the Test vice-captaincy and received a central contract for the 2017/18 season.

However, with Barry and O’Connell having praised Stokes for his actions, there is now a possibility that he could fly to Australia and take part in the Ashes.

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