Gay teenage Championship star set to come out in TV interview and become Britain’s only openly gay professional footballer
- The player is ‘very relaxed’ about his sexuality and wants to ‘break the stigma’
- The last professional British player to come out was tragic Justin Fashanu in 1990
- Only current out gay player in the world is Joshua Cavallo, who plays in Australia
A teenage footballer will come out as gay in a televised interview next week in a bid to tackle the scourge of homophobia in the sport, it has been claimed.
The player is reportedly ‘very relaxed’ about his sexuality and has the full backing of his teammates and Championship club.
He is said to be ‘keen to break the stigma’ and will become the only out gay male professional player in the country, and the second in the world.
The last British pro to come out was Justin Fashanu in 1990, before he tragically took his own life eight years later, aged 37.
A source told the Sun that the player told club officials and his manager about his plans a few weeks ago, adding that his family already knew he was gay.
They added: ‘The club made it very clear it was his decision and they would back what he wanted to do. He told his teammates, some as recently as Friday, and they offered him their backing too.
The player is reportedly ‘very relaxed’ about his sexuality and has the full backing of his teammates and Championship club. (stock image)
The last British pro to come out was Justin Fashanu (pictured) in 1990, before he tragically took his own life eight years later, aged 37.
‘Football dressing rooms have moved with the times and none of the players see it as a big deal.
‘They are all more interested in how he plays and trains. He is a highly valued member of the team.’
Josh Cavallo, 22, who plays for the Australian team Adelaide United, came out as gay last year, and remains the only out pro in the world.
Other players have come out after their careers were over, including former Aston Villa player Thomas Hitzlsperger, 40, and ex-Hull City youth’s Thomas Beattie, 35.
Amal Fashanu, who runs the Justin Fashanu Foundation to fight homophobia and racism in football, told the Sun: ‘This is very encouraging news and shows the positive steps that have been taken in society and in football.
‘I am sure he will get a positive reaction and it may pave the way for others.’
Amal revealed in 2020 that her foundation was providing counselling to five secretly gay football stars, including two from the Premier League.
She created the foundation in 2019 partly in a bid to help more players come out.
She previously said: ‘No one wants to be the first. In their minds these guys are trapped, ashamed.
‘They think society won’t accept it so instead they live their lives in secret.
‘It’s sad that this has to happen. But they would be a trailblazer [if they came out].’