Matt Le Tissier has insisted he is "not a bad person" - and said he could now ditch Twitter for an 'alternative' free-speech social media app.

Speaking exclusively to Saintsplus after an "overwhelming" week, the former Southampton FC captain said his tweeting will "fizzle out" as he moves to Gettr.

It comes after he stepped down as club ambassador on Wednesday following a controversial tweet that seemingly questioned the truth surrounding the massacre of civilians in Ukraine.

He has admitted he was "wrong" to share the tweet - but said others' opinions of him are "irrelevant".

The controversy saw him quit as Saints ambassador - a role he started in 2019.

READ MORE: Saintsplus has launched - a letter from new Saintsplus reporter Benjy Nurick

Speaking about the decision to step aside from the role, Le Tissier defended himself and confirmed he was not pushed into resigning.

“I made that decision," he told Saintsplus prior to a live Q&A at The Lapstone pub in Horton Heath which was reopening after a £1 million refurbishment.

“The club were obviously getting some flak. And I don’t think it was fair on the club, to be honest.  

Daily Echo: Matt Le Tissier celebrates scoring during his Saints playing days. Matt Le Tissier celebrates scoring during his Saints playing days.

“So I decided that the best decision for me to make at the moment was just to distance myself from the club so that they don’t feel the need to try and defend me or defend my opinion on things.  

“I’ve always wanted what’s best for Southampton Football Club.  

“I think it was the right thing to do given the circumstances at the moment. I don’t have any issues with the football club, they’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m still very welcome to go watch the games down there so there’s no animosity there at all."

READ NEXT: Saints legend Terry Paine on his life of football firsts 

On ditching Twitter, he added: "I’ve got a Gettr account, a new social media app that I’ll probably transfer to - not quite as toxic over there.

"I’ll be spending more time on Gettr and Twitter will eventually fizzle out.”

Le Tissier has frequently been questioned over his social media activity in the last few years as he has taken to Twitter to express his scepticism over the Covid vaccine amongst other topics. 

The 53-year-old quit the ambassador role after a backlash when he wrote ‘This’ above a post questioning media reporting on Covid and the massacre of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha by Russian forces.

Daily Echo:

He later deleted the tweet and has now told Saintsplus it was the “wrong” example to use in his bid to question the mainstream media in times of crisis. 

“The point that I was making, I could have chosen a better example," he admitted. "That’s why I deleted the tweet.  

“The point I was trying to get across, I didn’t use the right example to get that across and it came across the wrong way which is my mistake. I should have thought that through better.  

“That’s why I chose to delete the tweet and apologise for it. 

“It’s very emotive and it was the wrong thing for me to do. I see that now but it doesn’t change the point I was trying to make, I just used the wrong example. 

“The point of the tweet was to say that there is a war situation going on and history tells us in all wars, the media is used as a propaganda tool…on both sides.  

“If you think the Russians are the only ones using propaganda then I think you’re very naive.

"And I don’t think, if I’m honest, that we’ll ever really know the truth. And that was the point I was trying to make.  

“As I tweeted out, I have incredibly deep compassion for all victims of war. I don’t think in this day and age that any country should want to start a war, I don’t see the point of it.  

“It really frustrates me to see that in the 21st century we’re still having wars between countries. We’ve developed a little bit as a human species now.  

“We should be able to negotiate things, we should be able to speak, we should be able to have rational adult conversations about things without resorting to invading countries and starting wars. That’s where I stand.  

“And sometimes maybe I come across in a slightly clumsy way to get my point across but it’s much easier when you’re talking one on one with someone rather than trying to write things down. To actually articulate the points you’re trying to make.” 

Le Tissier became the ultimate Saints legend after spending his entire career on the South Coast, going on to make 540 appearances and score 209 goals.  

His Saints legacy has certainly taken a hit from sections of the club’s fanbase, but Le Tissier says he isn’t concerned about that. 

“I think everybody is free to choose how they want to think about me,” he said. “And that’s the whole crux of the matter. 

“People should be free to have their opinions, have freedom of expression, freedom of speech and if they feel like they don’t agree with what I’m saying and they don’t want to like me anymore because of my opinions, I don’t have a problem with that.  

READ NEXT: The roots of Saints manager ​​Ralph 'the human-catcher' Hasenhuttl

“It just seems to be the other way round, everybody has a problem with me having an opinion that’s different to theirs. 

“I quite like having debates with people and if I’m having a debate with someone and they come up with a good argument against me, I don’t have a big ego, I’ll be the first person to say ‘you know what, that’s a really good point you made there.’ I’m not too big to do that.  

Daily Echo: Matt Le Tissier reopens The Lapstone pub in Horton Heath on Thursday, April 7.Matt Le Tissier reopens The Lapstone pub in Horton Heath on Thursday, April 7.

“When other people get upset with me for my opinion, I’d rather they just came and talked to me and debate with me. We can have an adult conversation.” 

The former England international’s Twitter account sits at more than 580,000 followers and many believe that comes with the responsibility to be cautious. 

Le Tissier doesn’t agree - although he does say that his tweeting is likely to “fizzle out”. 

“I don’t get all the… you’ve got a massive following you’ve got to be more responsible than someone who’s got ten followers on social media.  

“That I don’t think is the right way to run things. For me, I think everybody should be free to hear everybody’s opinion and then make their own minds up. So that’s kind of where I stand on things… and that seems to upset quite a few people!” 

Daily Echo:

“When I get something wrong - as I did the other day - I’m not too big to hold my hand up and say ‘you know what I was wrong there, I apologise.’ I’m happy to do that. It just seems that the same cordiality is not afforded to me from the other side.” 

The former England international has also insisted that “the person social media has painted” him to be isn’t the real Le Tissier. 

“Social media is what it is,” he continued. “I take it with a pinch of salt which is why I don’t get too upset when criticism comes my way. 

“I know my value in life, I know the good that I’ve done for other people in my life and I’m very comfortable with where I am as a person.  

“And the people that know me, the people that spend a lot of time with me…I’m quite comfortable in the knowledge that they know I’m not a bad person.  

READ NEXT: Midfield reshuffle, playing ugly and Diallo's recovery

“They know I do a helluva lot of good for a lot of people in this community and have done for a long time. I don’t normally go shouting about it, that’s not my way.  

“I’ve just always felt, in this community there are a lot of people who are less fortunate than me.  

“And so I’ve gone out of my way and my wife will tell you I sometimes go out of my way too often and I’m out of the house too much, but I think it’s important.  

“The person that social media has painted me to be isn’t the person my mates and close family know I am.  

“And as long as I know that, then everybody else’s opinion of me is kind of irrelevant to me - apart from those people in my close family circle who actually really know me and don’t judge me just cause of things that have happened on social media."