England cricketer Steven Davies announces he is gay
England wicketkeeper Steven Davies has become the country's first serving professional to announce he is gay, describing the revelation as "a massive relief".
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the Surrey player, aged 24, said: "I'm comfortable with who I am - and happy to say who I am in public."
Davies, who was part of England's victorious Ashes squad, said he decided to make the announcement after months of personal conflict, receiving the full support of his team-mates.
"This is the right time for me. I feel it is right to be out in the open about my sexuality. If more people do it, the more acceptable it will become. That must be a good thing," he said.
"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."
Davies, who started his professional cricketing career with Worcestershire when he was 18, said he could no longer bear to lie about his sexuality.
In the interview he said he had the full support of his family, who learned of his homosexuality five years ago.
"I hope it's all going to be fine with the fans," Davies added.
"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."
The former England under-19 captain made his international debut in 2009 against the West Indies during the Twenty20 in Trinidad.
He admitted that he was partly inspired to make the announcement by Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, who also went public about his homosexuality in 2009.
The wicketkeeper, who was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, said: "Gareth Thomas's story helped me. It just showed me it can be done. He was brave enough to stand up and say who he was. It was a very courageous thing to do, so if I can help anyone else like he helped me, then that would be great."
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Chelsea transfer news: 'Eden Hazard will cost Real Madrid £100m - and a Galactico,' says Jose Mourinho
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove