Top football analyst bravely comes out as gay with call for sport to move out of ‘limbo’

Daniel Hutchings stares at the camera while wearing a jacket with a football insignia on it. The picture is beside a screenshot of his coming out story which he posted on Twitter

A football analyst for Stevenage Football Club has come out as gay in a heartfelt post on social media, calling for “things to change” in the beloved sport.

Daniel Hutchings, a first team analyst for Stevenage FC, opened up on social media about his journey from being a football-loving kid to finally having “plucked up the courage” to sharing his authentic self in the football world.

Hutchings said on Twitter that he had “stopped caring what people thought about my sexuality a while ago”. But he explained that he’s “seen it first hand that it’s so difficult to work within professional football and be openly gay”.

Hutchings said: “I’ve been involved in the game since I was a kid, whether as a player growing up or as an analyst now, and I always thought I could go through my career without ever mentioning it – it’s no one’s business ultimately!

“But through the years it’s become harder and harder to keep it up.

“I also hoped that things might have progressed within the sport that I so dearly love. Sadly, I’ve seen little to none.”

He believed that things will “begin to change when a professional player comes out”, but said “we’re almost stuck in a kind of limbo” until that happens.

“I’m sure this message won’t go very far or have much impact but even if it helps one person within football/sport with their sexuality, in even the smallest way, then it would have been worth it,” Hutchings added.

He shared that he wanted to come out publicly as the “weight” of hiding his authentic self “this whole time might have affected my performance at work”, which he said “kills me”.

Hutchings also denounced anyone who believed that “this whole ‘coming out’ thing is a load of bollocks”.

“I mean, who cares, right?” he said. “But with the way things are currently, this needs to be done.”

He continued: “Things need to change and it won’t change until people bite the bullet and do this sort of thing. So there we are.”

Australian football star Josh Cavallo made international headlines in October when he came out publicly as gay in an emotional video on social media.

The Adelaide United player is currently the only active, openly gay player in a top-tier men’s football league worldwide

Cavallo has received waves of support from pro-footballers, clubs and fans for his bravery and for deciding to live openly as his authentic self.

Adelaide United star Josh Cavallo poses in a football goal while wearing a red jersey

Josh Cavallo of the Adelaide United A-League Men’s team poses during a portrait session on 29 October 29, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Getty/ Sarah Reed)

Sadly, he has also experienced homophobic hate in the months since coming out.

Fans lobbed hateful slurs and booed Cavallo from the stands after he came on the pitch as a second-half substitution during a match against Melbourne Victory on 8 January.

Cavallo said he wouldn’t “pretend that I didn’t see or hear the homophobic abuse” at the game. But he had “no words” to describe his disappointment after the event.

“As a society, it shows we still face these problems in 2022,” Cavallo said. “This shouldn’t be acceptable and we need to do more to hold these people accountable.”

South Australia Police have reportedly been asked by Adelaide United to investigate abuse directed at the gay player online, which included death threats.