Just days after Rugby League player Keegan Hirst became the first British professional in the code to openly come out as gay, the married father of two has bared it all for the world to see.
The 27-year-old told the Sunday Mirror about the moment he finally found the words to explain to his wife the reason they could no longer be together and the support he got from her and his rugby team-mates.
The 6ft 4in captain of West Yorkshire side Batley Bulldogs said: “At first I couldn’t even say ‘I’m gay’ in my head, let alone out loud. Now I feel like I’m letting out a long breath that I’ve held in for a long time.”
“I had a wife and kids. I’ve been a builder, doorman, worked in factories – I play rugby.
“I tick every macho box. How could I be gay? I’m from Batley for goodness sake. No one is gay in Batley.”
“The only time I felt free of the torment was when I stepped on the rugby pitch. Now I feel free.”