Footballer Zander Murray coming out is already helping to inspire young sporting folk
In September, Zander Murray joined an increasing list of out LGBTQ+ professional athletes and made history by becoming the first senior Scottish footballer to come out as gay.
The 30-year-old Gala Fairydean Rover striker, via his club’s website, shared: “First, it feels like the weight of the world is now off my shoulders… It can be difficult, and you can feel very alone,”
“I knew I was different for many years, but with other people in the game coming out, it’s been amazing.”
“Hopefully, the SFA can work with other leagues and partners and look at support and drive how we help other players.”
Murray later used Twitter to share a message he had received since opening up about his sexuality.
“Hi Zander, hope you’re doing okay.”, the sender says.
“I just wanted to tell you that you’ve been a massive inspiration for me to come out to teammates and family.”
“As a young footballer, I find it difficult to be myself as it is but being gay and keeping it secret was so challenging. It felt amazing when I told my teammates, they were super supportive.”
Makes it all worthwhile young man ❤️ pic.twitter.com/4d2pVK2VU6
— Zander Murray (@ZanderMurray) September 27, 2022
Murray said in his retweet: “Makes it all worthwhile young man”.
Zander is the first senior Scottish player to come out and the first openly gay football player in Scotland since Airdrie and Hearts player Justin Fashanu in the 1990s.
He follows in the footsteps of Jake Daniels, who came out back in May, and made history as Britain’s first active openly gay male professional footballer and the first pro to come out since Fashanu, over 30 years later.
Murray has been playing with the club for four seasons now and holds the current record for goal scores in a single season.
Great interview with @ZanderMurray on @lorraine about coming out, playing football and his determination to help create an inclusive game through education and awareness raising. An inspiring role model ⚽💪🌈 pic.twitter.com/s78TdzaDdh
— Chris Gibbons #EndOurCladdingScandal (@gogibbogo) September 27, 2022
Since coming out, Murray has done a number of interviews about his decision to live publicly. In one, he told Lorraine Kelly (below) that Tom Daley had reached out to show support:
“Like yourself Lorraine, he is an absolute icon. He messaged me when I was on the way back from football training in a car with four boys, and I had tears in my eyes seeing his direct message,” he told the host.
“I messaged him back and went, ‘Look, I’m in the car on the way back from football with four boys, and I’ve got tears in my eyes, and I don’t even care – I’ve fully accepted myself.’ He’s been amazing.”
To see a list of all the celebrities and public figures who have come out in 2022 (so far…), click here.