Semi-pro footballer: ‘Every club I’ve been at has known I’m gay’

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

A semi-professional footballer who publicly came out as gay in January, has said every club he has been at has known that he is gay.

Liam Davis, who came out in January, a week after former Premier League footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger, came out in the media

The Gainsborough Trinity winger has now reflected on being openly gay with almost every club he has been at, telling the BBC: “Every club I’ve been at has known, but how much it has been spoke about is a bit different.”

“Obviously there was a time when I was at Grimsby when nobody knew.”

Speaking of Hitzlsperger’s coming out a week before his, Davis said: “I tweeted at the time that I was a little disappointed that he didn’t do it whilst he was playing, but good on him for doing what he’s done.

On there only having been a “couple of nasty people”, he said:  “I’ve only ever had one problem though, it was just a couple of comments when I was taking a corner.

“I got on with it at the time but afterwards was like ‘wow did that really just happen?’ If it was a black player for example it would have been a massive blow up.”

On the importance of a gay Premier League footballer coming out, Davis continued: “I think once there’s one, there will be more because we’ll see the reaction of everybody and I think it will be a lot easier than people think.”

Noting the rainbow laces campaign by Stonewall, the Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN), and Paddy Power, which sent rainbow laces to every professional footballer in the UK, he said: “It would be nice if it stuck through the whole season rather than clubs just getting on it for one weekend and then leaving it out.”

A week before Davis came out, 31-year-old Thomas Hitzlsperger made headlines around the world, after he revealed he is gay in a German newspaper.

Justin Fashanu was the first professional footballer in Britain to come out, in 1990, before he took his own life eight years later, aged 37.

Swedish lower league player Anton Hysen – son of former Liverpool defender Glenn Hysen – came out in an interview with a Swedish football magazine in 2011.

Former Leeds and US winger Robbie Rogers came out as gay and quit English football in February 2013.