A Twitter user who claimed to be a UK Championship footballer has said he won’t come out publicly as gay.
But almost a month of international media coverage, he denied the Twitter profile was an elaborate hoax.
The profile was created in early July, and the user claimed to be a professional football player under the age of 23. The person said had just come out to family members and would soon do so publicly.
In a tweet this week, he appeared to set a date – Wednesday, July 24 – for revealing his identity.
But on Tuesday, @FootballerGay instead posted two tweets saying he’d changed his mind before deleting the account.
“I thought I was stronger. I was wrong,” read the first tweet.
In the second and final tweet, the footballer denied any accusations the account had been a hoax.
“Call me all the names under the sun, belittle me and ridicule me, a lot will, and I can’t change that,” he wrote.
“But I’m not strong enough to do this. Just remember that I’ve got feelings, without coming out I can’t convince anybody otherwise.
“But this isn’t a hoax. I wouldn’t do that.”
Shortly after the second tweet, @FootballerGay deleted the account.
Australian soccer player Andy Brennan came out in May
There are no active professional male footballers in England who are openly gay. Justin Fashanu is reportedly the only British male player to have publicly come out while playing in the Football League, in 1990.
A number of high profile footballers had expressed their support for the player via Twitter.
In Australia in May, former A-League player Andy Brennan became the first Aussie male soccer player to come out as gay.
“You’ve got to realise that’s who you are and you’ve just got to be who you are,” he said at the time.
“It’s been a big lift off my shoulders and I can just focus on playing football.”
But Brennan added: “This isn’t a call for those people to come out and tell everyone who they are. They shouldn’t have to, shouldn’t need to.
“I did it this way because this is what is going to make me most comfortable, being open and honest with who I am.”
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.