A rugby player who suffered a stroke after a gym accident woke up gay, he claims.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Chris Birch said it started his transformation from a “19st skinhead to an 11st preened man”.

Chris said: “It sounds strange but when I came round I immediately felt different.

“I wasn’t interested in women any more. I was definitely gay.

“I had never been attracted to a man before – I’d never even had any gay friends. But I didn’t care about who I was before, I had to be true to my feelings.”

Chris retrained as a hairdresser and he now lives with his partner Jack Powell, 19, above the salon where he works.

A neurologist said the changes in his personality could be due to the stroke opening up another part of his brain.

Stroke Association spokesman Joe Korner said: “Whether or not the stroke turned Chris gay, or whether he was gay anyway but unaware of it, his experience seems to be a positive one, which is great.”