Labour Party shadow chancellor Ed Balls accidentally left an opponent bleeding in a football match between party politicians and journalists on Sunday.
As the team of politicians struggled to overturn a goal deficit on the pitch in Manchester, Balls’ elbow hit Northern Echo reporter Rob Merrick under the eye.
Merrick had to leave the pitch for medical treatment as blood covered his football shirt.
“I was about to score a brilliant goal in the top right hand corner,” Balls, known as a political bruiser, said after the match.
“As I steadied myself to shoot Rob came piling in from behind attempting to nick the ball and came off worst.”