England wicketkeeper reveals he is gay

Mon, 28 Feb 07:03:00 2011

England wicketkeeper Steve Davies has revealed he is gay, becoming the country's first top cricketer to come out.

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Davies has played eight one-day internationals and five Twenty20 matches for England and was a member of the victorious Ashes squad as back-up gloveman to Matt Prior.

Welsh rugby international Gareth Thomas, former NBA player John  Amaechi and the late footballer Justin Fashanu are the only other high-profile British sports stars to have come out.

Davies told The Sun: "I'm comfortable with who I am and happy to say who I am in public.

"To speak out is a massive relief for me, but if I can just help one person to deal with their sexuality then that's all I care about.

"Gareth Thomas's story helped me. It showed me it can be done. He was brave enough to stand up and say who he was. If I can help anyone else like he helped me, that would be great."

Surrey keeper Davies came out to his close friends and family at the age of 19 but decided only to come out to his team-mates a week before the Ashes when he told coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss who then passed on the news to the squad.

The 24-year-old said: "I told Andy (Flower) first. It was a tough thing for me to do, to tell him face-to-face, but I had to do it. He supported me 100 per cent, him and Andrew Strauss. It was the right thing to do as I felt I couldn't live like this any more.

"I didn't enjoy going on tour too much because of the secret, and the Ashes was going to be a three-and-a-half-month tour. That's a long time and I would have really struggled to finish it. My sexuality is an essential part of who I am, so I wanted the boys to know."

Davies is hopeful cricket supporters will back his decision.

He said: "I hope it's all going to be fine with the fans. If there is any abuse or anything then I don't need to worry about those people giving it out.

"The people that matter to me are family, friends and my team-mates, and everyone has been so amazing, that's what counts.

"At the end of my career I want to be remembered as a good cricketer, not just as a gay cricketer."

Eurosport

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