Dorchester Town boss Ashley Vickers has become the latest internet footballing sensation.

The player-manager’s rugby tackle on a mankini-wearing streaker has gone global with papers and websites from Spain to South Africa picking up on the story carried in yesterday’s Dorset Echo.

The bizarre incident occurred in Monday night’s 3-1 defeat at Havant & Waterlooville in which Vickers, playing only his third match since coming out of retirement, tackles a Borat impersonator who had invaded the pitch.

Vickers, who was dismissed by referee David Spain as a result, has subsequently gained celebrity status across the globe. The Echo was the first to contact Vickers in the aftermath of Monday’s events and the 39-year-old has again spoken exclusively.

He said: “There have been a few eventful moments in my career and this certainly ranks right up there.

“I’m just sorry that we lost the game. It’s something that will live long in the memory but in hindsight I shouldn’t have done it and I do regret it.

“However, it was done with the best intentions.

“The Havant stewards, without being disrespectful, were a bit older and clearly not as fit as the guy in the mankini.”

The video of the incident shows the streaker circling the pitch, before finally coming to an abrupt halt, courtesy of a firm takedown from the Magpies’ boss.

The Westfield Arts College teacher added: “I’m just thankful for the support I’ve had so far, especially from the guys at Havant.

“The streaker could have gone on to attack one of the players. I managed to get hold of him and the stewards were grateful for my help but the ref wasn’t.”

Shaun Gale, manager of Havant & Waterlooville, said he felt sorry for his opposite number.

He said: “It may have been high jinks and given a few people a laugh but I feel sorry for Ashley, who thought he was doing the right thing.”

Hawks’ secretary and director Trevor Brock added: “It was unfortunate that Ashley got sent off but the referee acted by the letter of the law.

“He did us a favour but he did it with such force the ref considered it violent conduct.”

By Ky Capel, Dorset Echo