A man who claims to play for a Championship club says he is set to publicly come out as gay in the near future.
‘The Gay Footballer’ Twitter account, which was created last week, has over 6,500 followers and is purported to belong to a second-tier player.
There are no active professional male footballers in England who are openly gay.
Thank you to all those who have sent supportive messages. Please understand that I only came out to my family in the last few days, I want/need the opportunity to prepare myself, and those around me, before going public. Please be patient with me.
— The Gay Footballer (@FootballerGay) July 7, 2019
A statement posted from the account on Sunday said the player’s identity would be revealed once he has prepared himself for the announcement.
“This afternoon I requested a meeting with both my manager and the club chairman,” the statement read.
“At this meeting I revealed to both gentlemen that I am a homosexual man, I explained that I had only yesterday come out to my family.
— The Gay Footballer (@FootballerGay) July 5, 2019
“I sought advice from both men regarding the fact that I not only want to, but will, come out publicly as a proud, confident gay professional footballer.
“As it currently stands, once I have taken the time to give full consideration to how and when I am to make it public, a press conference will be organised by the club, with invitations to be made in due course to both local and national press.”
While the tweets have received a largely positive response, the account holder did flag up some abuse aimed at him since it was opened.
The Football Association marched at Pride in London for the first time on Saturday while they have backed Stonewall’s rainbow laces campaign in recent years.
Former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger is one of the most high-profile figures to come out as gay in recent times.
The ex-Germany international had already retired before making his sexuality public, with the player purportedly behind the Gay Footballer account claiming to be under the age of 23 as he prepares to follow suit.
“I’m a professional footballer, playing for a club in the @SkyBetChamp. I will be revealing my identity soon, but I am a proud gay man, hoping to break the mould. I am under the age of 23, and today I came out to my family. Soon, I will come out publicly,” he tweeted on Friday.