Fashanu niece: Shame Hitzlsperger waited so long

The niece of Britain's first openly gay footballer Justin Fashanu has said ex-Premier League star Thomas Hitzlsperger's decision to reveal he is gay is "very significant" but said it was a shame he waited until he was retired to make the announcement

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Hitzlsperger: 'I've never been ashamed of the way I am'

Former Premier League star Thomas Hitzlsperger said he has "never been ashamed of the way I am" after he revealed that he is gay.

Thomas Hitzlsperger has revealed he is gay. Credit: Joe Giddens /Everton FC

He told Zeit magazine: "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," he added.

Hitzlsperger also admitted that it has not always been easy living with some of the comments made on the subject, he said: "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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