Whether or not they should do so, athletes and fans have the tendency to cross paths during live sporting events.

From hecklers in the stands to streakers on the pitch, some spectators do extra to make their presence felt, and each athlete deals with it differently.

In 1995, Manchester United striker Eric Cantona attempted to kick a Crystal Palace fan in the front row at Selhurst Park who allegedly told him to "f**k off back to France".

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has allowed pitch invaders to hug him in the past as to get them off the field faster, and London Welsh forward Chris Hala'ufia tackled a pitch invader during a rugby game.


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In 2006, Jonah Lomu took a different approach.

During a match for the Cardiff Blues against Scarlets, which Scarlets won convincingly, Lomu was in the crosshairs of a Scarlets fan who in one instance he picked up the ball after it had rolled into touch and offered it to Lomu, only to throw it yards over the Kiwi's head.

The Times reported: "He was also seen on television gesticulating at Lomu and acting in a threatening manner" during the game.

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Rather than retaliating to the heckler, Lomu simply walked away.

"Huge international headlines precariously hung in the balance," the Daily Mail wrote at the time.

"A single retaliatory punch from Lomu, who stands 6ft 5in, weighs 19 stone and once legitimately mowed down three English heavyweights in a single charge at Twickenham, could have reduced the Welsh population by one.

"The great Lomu turned the other cheek and calmly walked away, a gesture of nobility which not for a moment I fear, will sedate the antagonism of fans too stupid to accept that sport, from its inception, has been about winning or losing with equal grace."


Other fans helped to identify Lomu's heckler, who was later handed a life ban from the ground.