Zander Murray has turn into the primary Scottish senior footballer to return out as homosexual.
Murray, who’s a striker for Lowland League facet Gala Fairydean Rovers, has praised his team-mates for his or her help and says he hopes his announcement “helps different gamers who’re struggling”.
He turns into the primary overtly homosexual participant in Scottish soccer since Justin Fashanu, who performed for Airdrie and Hearts within the Nineties, and needs to be a task mannequin for others, very like Blackpool’s Jake Daniels and Scottish referees Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson.
“It seems like the load of the world is now off my shoulders,” Murray stated.
“The explanation I’ve determined to do that now’s two-fold. Firstly, I used to be on vacation lately at a satisfaction occasion and I’ve all the time been that closeted by no means to go to those issues however I beloved it.
“The vibe was good and everybody was simply being free and comfortable and it was nice to simply be me.
“I additionally need to assist different gamers who’re combating this because it is not straightforward for males, particularly footballers to take care of.”
Murray, 30, had spells with Airdrie and Motherwell throughout his youthful taking part in days and says he knew he was “completely different for a few years”.
“It may be tough and you’ll really feel very alone,” he added. “However with different folks within the sport popping out it has been superb.”
Gala Fairydean Rovers play within the Lowland League, one step under League Two. Murray holds the membership’s report for objectives scored in a single season.
“The lads on the membership have been so supportive,” he stated. “I’ve a very robust bond with everybody on the membership and I’ve been blown away by the help.
“Earlier than popping out you assume folks will flip towards you and also you assume the worst. It has been pretty how a lot help I’ve had.
“I’ve carried out plenty of analysis and I all the time control media retailers to see if there are any platforms for younger homosexual male footballers for help however there are none.
“I would like to look into and see what help may be given to different gamers to encourage them.
“In recent times Jake Daniels has come out after which Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson who’re each referees have carried out the identical.
“After all there are homosexual footballers in our sport and I’ve had plenty of gamers get in contact saying they’ve learn my submit and so they cannot consider how robust I’m by doing this.”
He added: “Hopefully the SFA [Scottish Football Association] can work with different leagues and companions and have a look at help and drive how we assist different gamers.
“That help is tremendously wanted within the males’s sport.
“Girls’s soccer is one other ball sport. They’re fully numerous and open and that is one thing the boys’s sport ought to aspire to be.”
Following Murray’s announcement, Gala Fairydean Rovers chairperson Ryan Cass stated: “Everybody on the membership is totally supportive of Zander and we’re delighted for him that he feels snug to return out.
“Zander has proven nice bravery and he has the membership’s full help and I’m sure that he’ll get the help he deserves from all throughout the soccer household in Scotland.”
Blackpool’s Jake Daniels turned the primary UK’s first lively male skilled footballer to return out as homosexual earlier this yr, and instructed his story to Sky Sports activities. Learn right here.