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A teenage footballer from a Championship club is reportedly going to come out as gay next week and become the only current openly homosexual male professional player in Britain.
The Sun reports that he plans to make the announcement in a TV interview and has the backing of his club and teammates. It's claimed he is "very relaxed" about his sexuality and wants to "break the stigma".
A source told the paper: "The player told club officials and his manager about this a few weeks ago and his family already knew. The club made it very clear it was his decision and they would back what he wanted to do.
"He told his teammates, some as recently as Friday, and they offered him their backing too. Football dressing rooms have moved with the times and none of the players see it as a big deal. They are all more interested in how he plays and trains. He is a highly valued member of the team."
He will unfortunately be in the minority with a stigma attached to homosexuality in football. There is just one current male player in world football who has come out as gay, Josh Cavallo, of Australia's Adelaide United.
The player will join Justin Fashanu, as one of the few English players to come out as gay after he revealed his sexuality in 1990. He tragically took his own life eight years later.
Players have come out after their careers have finished including ex-Aston Villa ace Thomas Hitzlsperger and former Hull City youth player Thomas Beattie.
Amal Fashanu, the niece of Justin Fashanu runs the Justin Fashanu Foundation, an organisation that fights against homophobia in honour of her late uncle.
And she has given her full support to the Championship player who will come out next week. She said: "This is very encouraging news and shows the positive steps that have been taken in society and in football.
"I am sure he will get a positive reaction and it may pave the way for others."
Adelaide United's Josh Cavallo came out as gay in October 2021
(Image: ADELAIDE UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB/AF)
Cavallo came out as gay in October 2021, becoming the only current top-flight male professional footballer in the world to do so.
He said: "I'm a footballer and I'm gay. All I want to do is play football and be treated equally. It's been a journey to get to this point in my life, but I couldn't be happier with my decision to come out."
"I have been fighting with my sexuality for six years now, and I'm glad I can put that to rest."
"At the end of the day I just wanted to be happy. This is bigger than football, it's my life. I'd go home and I wasn't happy. It just slowly eats away at you and it's not something I wish upon anyone."