Former West Ham player reveals he is gay

Former West Ham, Aston Villa and Germany international midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has announced he is gay.

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Hitzlsperger: Daley 'gave me the feeling I was not alone'

Tom Daley, who won Olympic bronze at London 2012, revealed his gay relationship last month. Credit: PA

Former footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger has said that diver Tom Daley revealing he was in a relationship with a man helped in his own coming out.

"It really helped me to see that other professional sports people were acknowledging their sexuality," he told the Guardian's Raphael Honigstein.

"I read about John Amaechi, Gareth Thomas and Tom Daley. They weren't footballers but the fact that they went public gave me the feeling that I was not alone.

"I began to think that I could help other footballers who might be in the same shoes, so that they could see that here's someone who was even an international.

"I wanted to encourage them, the way that those guys and Robbie Rogers encouraged me."


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Joey Barton: 'Hitzlsperger has shown a lot of courage'

QPR player Joey Barton has tweeted:


Gay footballer: I've never been ashamed of the way I am

I'm coming out about my homosexuality because I want to move the discussion about homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards.

I've never been ashamed of the way I am.

Just picture 20 men sat around a table together drinking - you've just got to let the majority be, just as long as the jokes are halfway funny and the talk about homosexuality doesn't get too insulting.

In England, Germany or Italy, homosexuality is not taken seriously as an issue, at least not in the dressing room.

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