Rugby League referee James Child opens up about his decision to go public with his sexuality

Rugby League referee James Child says the support he's received since publicly revealing his sexuality has been "overwhelmingly positive."

The 37 year old from Dewsbury is one of the most respected officials within the game and has officiated at some of the biggest games within the sport, including the Challenge Cup final, Super League grand final and two World Cup finals.

James Child Credit: PA

James came out as gay to his fellow referees ten years ago and makes no secret of his sexuality on social media channels but decided to speak publicly now in order to educate and encourage respect within the game.

James says he's received death threats in the past which he referred to the police but hopes attitudes have changed.

James Child talking to ITV Calendar Credit: ITV Calendar

This summer it'll be six years since Keegan Hirst from Batley became the first professional rugby league player in Britain to come out as gay and James hopes that by speaking openly he can help create a safer and more inclusive environment for others should they want to do the same.

As a referee James accepts he can't please everyone, but he believes going public with his sexuality is one decision he's definitely got right.