A Twitter user claiming to be an anonymous Championship footballer, who gained a following on the social media platform after announcing his intention to come out as gay, has apparently changed his decision to reveal his sexuality.
The supposed player had previously declared his intentions, in a series of tweets, to become the first active professional footballer since 1990 to come out as gay whilst playing in the top four divisions of the game.
However, a new post on Tuesday - one day ahead of his self-set coming out date - revealed an apparent change of heart. An initial brief statement on Twitter simply said:
This was followed by a more substantial tweet denouncing those who had criticised him before the account was apparently shut down.
I’m proud to say I’ve been in correspondence with @FootballerGay, an @EFL Championship player who’s preparing to be the first person in England’s top 4 divisions to come out as gay since Justin Fashanu.— Jim White (@JimWhite) July 9, 2019
He has my full support. Join me on @talkSPORT from 10.
The abrupt news prompted speculation that the entire thing was a hoax. However, the player had received plenty of high profile support, with figures like sports broadcaster Jim White recently revealing that he had been in direct correspondence with the unnamed star.
The news had been widely accepted and welcomed by most as a positive step forward for the game. The EFL has previously struggled to convince footballers to come out whilst they are still playing, despite offers of anonymity.
@FootballerGay had close to 50k followers Twitter prior to its closure.