Ex-Aston Villa, West Ham And Everton Man Thomas Hitzlsperger: "I'm Gay"

Ex-Aston Villa, West Ham And Everton Man Thomas Hitzlsperger: "I'm Gay"

Former Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has revealed that he is gay – making him the first most high-profile player to go public.

The 31-year-old – who has 52 international caps for Germany – retired in September last year after spending time at Villa, Chesterfield, Stuttgart, Lazio, West Ham, Wolsfsburg and, most recently, Everton.

Speaking to German magazine De Zeit, he said: “I’m talking about my homosexuality because I want to open up the debate about homosexuality in football.”

“I only realised over the last few years that I’d rather live with a man.

He went on to add: “In England, Italy and Germany being a homosexual is no big thing, at least not in the dressing room.

“I was never ashamed of being who I am but it was not always easy to sit on a table with 20 young men and listen to jokes about gays.

“You let them get on with it as long as the jokes are somewhat funny and not too insulting.

“Being gay is a topic that is ignored in football and not a serious topic in the changing room.

“Fighting spirit, passion and winning mentality are intrinsically linked, that doesn’t fit the cliché: ‘gays are soft’.”

Hopefully, Hitzlsperger’s announcement will give other athletes the confidence to be completely open about their sexuality.

More in Football

How Successful Has the Return of the Bundesliga Been?

Jonny BoyleJune 17, 2020

Why Bayern Munich May Be One More Tough Test Away From the Bundesliga Title

Jonny BoyleJune 3, 2020

Are Hakim Ziyech’s Comments About the 2018-19 Champions League Final Fair?

Jonny BoyleJune 2, 2020

EFL League One Playoff Decision Puts Paul Lambert’s Ipswich Position at Risk

Jonny BoyleJune 2, 2020

Fun Things That Sports Fans Can Do At Home During The Coronavirus Lockdown

Jonny BoyleMay 18, 2020

Bookmakers Will Be Watching Closely as Footballing Authorities Decided Season Outcome

Daniel CawApril 10, 2020

France Football Select Celtic Kit as One of the Greatest Football Strips of All-Time

Daniel CawApril 9, 2020

Bundesliga Set to Resume Next Month – But Behind Closed Doors Until 2021

Daniel CawApril 9, 2020

Sadio Mane Admits He Was ‘Thinking About Man Utd’ Before His Liverpool Move

Daniel CawApril 9, 2020