Gay footballer deletes Twitter account: ‘I thought I was stronger’

A rainbow corner flag flying on a football pitch

Twitter’s anonymous gay footballer has deleted his account a day before he was due to reveal his identity.

The user— who claimed to be a young Championship footballer—had said that he would reveal his identity during a press conference on Wednesday (July 24), but reversed course just hours before.

“I thought I was stronger. I was wrong,” he told his 50,000 followers on Tuesday night (July 23).

“Call me all the names under the sun, belittle me and ridicule me, a lot will, and I can’t change that, but I’m not strong enough to do this.

“Just remember that I’ve got feelings, without coming out I can’t convince anybody otherwise, but this isn’t a hoax. I wouldn’t do that.”

Shortly afterwards, the account was deleted.

Justin Fashanu niece ‘upset’ by gay footballer account

Amal Fashanu, niece of Britain’s first and only openly gay male footballer Justin Fashanu, said that she was “pretty disheartened” that the Twitter user felt he couldn’t go through with it.

“It’s actually upsetting,” she told Sky News.

“Have we made it that bad—the environment in football—that no one can actually come out?”

Though Amal, like many others, has previously questioned whether the account was legitimate, she said that she was most concerned that “he could be gay and, actually, has been going through really bad times.”

Have we made it that bad that no one can actually come out?

Her uncle Justin remains the only footballer to ever come out as gay while playing for a major English team.

He announced his sexuality on the front cover of The Sun in 1990, but was swiftly dropped by his team and suffered a backlash from fans. He eventually took his own life in 1998.

Players support Twitter’s gay footballer

After The Gay Footballer announced himself on Twitter, he was followed by a number of players and sporting professionals including former England striker Gary Lineker and Burton Albion forward Marvin Sordell.

On Sunday (June 21), Sordell express his solidarity with the anonymous man, tweeting: “Wish you nothing but good fortune with this next step in life. So many things will be said, but your vulnerability in this situation is such a powerful sign of your strength! I’ve got huge respect for you doing something that is monumental for our sport.”

The footballer had claimed that he also had the backing of his Championship club.

“The club have instinctively viewed the issue in human terms, their support has focused on that first and foremost. Any pre-existing concerns I had in this regard have been alleviated as a result of the support that has been evident,” he wrote.