Ex-Hull ace Thomas Beattie comes out as gay – the first English player to do so since Justin Fashanu 30 years ago – The Sun

FORMER Hull player Thomas Beattie has come out as gay – the first English male footballer to do so since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

Beattie, from Goole in Yorkshire, says he felt like he could not announce he was gay while playing for a living.


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The 33-year-old played for Hull's youth team and also had spells in the US, Canada and Singapore as part of a career spanning more than 10 years.

Beattie, who now works in business in Singapore, is only the fourth male footballer who has played in Britain to come out as gay – after Fashanu, German star Thomas Hitzlsperger and American Robbie Rogers.

He told Advocate he felt pressure to keep his sexuality a secret.

Beattie said: "I never thought about coming out whilst playing.

"I literally felt like I had to sacrifice one of the two: who I am, or the sport I loved before I could remember.

"I used football as a form of escapism and in many ways it saved me, until I reached the point in life where there was some personal growth. I was standing still on that front.

"Society [told] me masculinity is linked to sexuality and so being an athlete playing a physical sport felt like a huge contradiction."

Beattie joined Hull at 10 but moved to the United States at 19 on a soccer scholarship.

He came out to friends and family just three months ago and says he hopes to encourage others to be open.

Beattie added: "It’s still a new and current process for me to be honest.

"I told close friends and family three months ago, which was when I decided to embark on the journey of speaking openly about it.

"As an athlete it was something that was unspoken about, which is why I want to share my story in hopes that there will eventually be more support for people in a similar situation.

"I recently started to tell some of my old team mates who have been amazing and treated me not a single ounce differently.

"They know I’m the same lad I was 10 minutes before telling them so that’s been refreshing."


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It was recently reported that one Premier League star secretly living as gay was "terrified" of coming out.

The top flight star is being counselled by a charity and has even confided in some of his team-mates.

And Watford captain Troy Deeney claimed every football team has at least one player who is gay or bisexual.

Former Norwich star Fashanu became the first professional footballer to come out as gay before taking his own life in 1998.

Ex-Aston Villa and West Ham midfielder Hitzlsperger announced his sexuality in January 2014 – four months after he retired.

Former Leeds man Rogers came out as gay in February 2013.

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