Premier League star comes out

Frank Dalleres
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FORMER Aston Villa and Germany footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger says he hopes to spark a change in sporting culture after he yesterday became the first Premier League footballer to come out as gay.

The midfielder, who won 52 international caps and also played for West Ham, Everton, Lazio, Stuttgart and Wolfsburg, retired in September due to injury.

Hitzlsperger said: “I’m coming out because I want to move the discussion about homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards.”

The 31-year-old, who only realised he was gay in recent years, added: “In England, Germany or Italy, homosexuality is not taken seriously as an issue, at least not in the dressing room.”