Gareth Thomas

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Gareth Thomas at a reception at 10 Downing Street in 2011
Gareth Thomas (born 1974) is a retired Welsh rugby player. In 2007 he became the first Welshman to win 100 international caps in rugby union. In 2010 he played for the Wales national rugby league team against Italy.

Gareth Thomas was married in 2011 and divorced in 2009. In 2009 Thomas announced publicly that he is gay. He told the Daily Mail, "I don't want to be known as a gay rugby player. I am a rugby player, first and foremost I am a man".[1] He thus became the first openly gay professional rugby union player.[2] In an interview with the BBC, Thomas talked about how he hoped that his coming out would mean that in the future, young gay rugby players would be able to come out and be accepted as a "talented gay rugby player".[3] Thomas also said, "What I choose to do when I close the door at home has nothing to do with what I have achieved in rugby".[4]

Gareth Thomas was ranked number 1 in the Pride Power List 2011 and 25 in the World Pride Power List 2012. He was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Pink List 2011.

References

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/welsh/8421956.stm "Ex-Lion Thomas reveals he is gay" BBC News 19 December 2009
  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/britishandirishlionsrugby/6841818/Wales-and-Lions-full-back-Gareth-Thomas-reveals-he-is-gay.html Daily Telegraph Graham Clutton "Wales and Lions full-back Gareth Thomas discloses he is homosexual" 18 December 2009
  3. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/welsh/8425335.stm "In-depth interview - Gareth Thomas" 22 December 2009 BBC Sport
  4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/19/gay-groups-applaud-gareth-thomas "Gay activists praise rugby star Gareth Thomas's decision to come out" Jamie Doward The Guardian 19 December 2009|