Out rugby player Sam Stanley says he may not return to sport after wedding

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Out gay rugby player Sam Stanley says he may never return to professional sport.

Stanley has faced criticism from other sections of the gay community for his age-gap relationship.

The 26-year-old athlete revealed earlier this year that he is to marry Laurence Hicks, 60, his partner of seven years.

Sam Stanley and Laurence Hicks

Asked about returning to sport, he told GSN: “I think at the minute, and how things have gone, not really. I miss it a hell of a lot.”

He explained: “I guess certain injuries can be hit and miss, some people can recover from them but unfortunately I’ve not.

“I’ll continue rehab and see where I am, but at 26 I still think I have a fair bit of time in me.”

The former pro player now lives in Italy with his husband-to-be.

He has previously blamed a lack of sex and relationship education for people finding their age-gap relationship unusual.

Out rugby player Sam Stanley says he may not return to sport after wedding

“There is a 34 year gap between us,” he told Attitude.

“I think people are obviously shocked at first because it’s different from the norm.

“However, once they get to know us and see us together their opinion normally changes.

“You can’t blame people’s reaction because, growing up, you only learn about sex between a man and woman in sex education classes, so not only do we break the stereotype by being gay but also because of our difference in one of us liking older chubby men and the other younger fitter boys.”

The pair met on website SilverDaddies.com, which describes itself as “a meeting place for mature men and other men (both daddies and younger), who are interested in keeping their daddy happy and/or sexually satisfied”.

Stanley posted an image of the two together on Instagram announcing their engagement, writing: “The most loving man I know and I’m incredibly happy to say we’re now engaged.”

Sam Stanley

Stanley even goes as far as to say most hate comes from other gay people.

Speaking to Queerty, he said: “I think if you’d caught the reaction to our engagement online most of the hate was from other gay people.

“That surprises me quite a lot with what gay people alone have to go through in terms of being judged. There’s a hell of a lot of judgement just within the gay community.

Laurence, Sam’s fiance, continued: “Younger gay guys who are obviously not into generational relationships don’t get it at all, particularly the difference in body size.

“Funnily enough, most of our straight friends are very comfortable with it.

“We both know the intergenerational thing is not everyone’s cup of tea, but please don’t judge either of us without really knowing us or appreciating the love we have for each other and the joy we bring to each others lives.”